A century of jazz and cinema – and phrases to explain it


Completely happy birthday, jazzman. You too are distressed. The 2 phrases flip 100 this 12 months, give or take, as carbon courting the debut of a phrase generally is a blunt science. Louis Armstrong received the jazzman title round 1922, however that’s precisely what a goose hunt is all about. Ditto for jitters – a nickname Prohibition for heebie-jeebies, born in 1922-ish.

The jazz world of the Nineteen Twenties is celebrating a century of phrases to explain.Credit score:Tim Clayton

Until a time period is mounted in some unspecified time in the future in time, corresponding to sandpaper, the approximation comes into play. Scofflaw, for instance, received a neologism contest in 1924, sponsored by Boston banker Delcevare King. A zealous wowser, King wished a clear label for rebellious shoppers of fresh whiskey, with scofflaw incomes $ 200 for the winner, beating boozocrat and boozshevik. Thus was born a phrase, on a particular day: the exception to the rule.

Cinemagoer and broadcaster are two extra kids than 1922. If the residents weren’t loopy in regards to the saxophone, they’d clearly tousled film homes, or worshiped vacuum tube radio. Beforehand, within the palms of Marconi and Morse, radio was a one-to-one medium, a restricted casting in a way. Because the message unfold, English tailored.

Our language additionally accompanied the motel, reflecting the expansion of the idle period, and the expertise of autumn. The Café Society – one other 1922 coin – has an equal luster. Regardless of what you presume, the cokehead is one other novice of the day, the Colombian shot coming into the western glossary, and the nostrils, a number of years earlier than Jay “The Nice” Gatsby let loose the orgy of the breath in West Egg.

Dictionary detectives can pursue a profession in pinpointing citations, in search of the primary point out of xenophobia (additionally 1922) or Gestalt psychology (a fraction earlier). The enjoyable lies in searching, as a lot eurekas as twerp, an unlikely centenary. Twerp appears like a ’50s slur, in keeping with dweeb and dork, however the Dictionary of American slang doesn’t agree. In reality, twerp can count on a telegraph queen daily.

The phrases come as a shock. That they had (one other new born 1922) our imaginative and prescient of historical past. The greenhouse impact, you wager, have to be a current phrase. At the least that is the widespread fallacy, pushed by what we favor to imagine. It’s calming to understand the local weather disaster as a brand new beast to be tamed, quite than a phenomenon foreshadowed by the French physicist Joseph Fourier in 1824, and final labeled by a Wisconsin geographer Glenn Trewartha in 1937.


The race ship triggered such a ruckus on New Yr’s Day, after I tweeted this checklist of youngsters of the Jazz age. In fact, NASA was miles away from its Apollo program, operating the remark thread. The missile cannot be 1922! However the secret lay in Jules Verne’s unusual clairvoyance.

Just like the atomic bomb, one other aberration suspected a physicist on the College of Melbourne. Responding to the checklist, Professor Raymond Volkas utilized for the delivery certificates of the weapon. The dilemma was finally resolved by a bodily colleague at Dr. Suzie Sheehy, who drew a replica of The liberated world (Macmillan, 1914) by HG Wells.


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