Definition of jism in English:
Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.
jazz from early 20th century:
We have been enjoying jazz since the early years of the 20th century, but no one is completely sure about the word's origin, although an enormous number of suggestions have been made, including an African origin. It seems that the original meaning may have been something like ‘liveliness, energy, spirit’—in 1912 a baseball player said of his new way of pitching: ‘I call it the Jazz ball because it wobbles and you simply can't do anything with it.’ The first known musical use came in 1915 in Chicago. Jazz was also used with sexual connotations, and its source could be the slang word jism (M19th of unknown origin) ‘semen’. And all that jazz, meaning ‘and all that stuff, etcetera’, has been around since the 1950s, but is currently particularly known as a song from the 1975 musical Chicago.
Definition of jism in:
- British & World English dictionary
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