Why We Say #22:Junk to Jeeps
Getting into the J zone of sayings with junk, jalopy, jazz, and jeep…
Jalopy: when a car goes south, south of the border
Archie probably didn’t buy his car from Mexico, although if he did, he might have bought it in the town of Jalopa. Since there was a shortage of cars in Mexico around the 1900s, many old automobiles would come to the country by way of USA cast offs. A car bought in Jalopa meant buying a worn out ride, sometimes a junky one. Eventually a jalopy car is what these were known to be called.
Junky Jewelry: be forewarned of Forney
Remember, those vendors are probably selling phoney Coach purses. Don’t buy one. Same goes for the watches. Stick to touristy stuff as souvenirs.
Well, we all know that some market vendors aren’t totally on the up and up when it comes to the authenticity of their wares. Purses, watches, clothing–consumer be wary. Forney, a manufacturer of cheap jewelry, may have started the knock-off industry, junk merchandise. Spotting a “Forney ring” became a buyer habit. The name changed to “phoney” and today we are still on the lookout for poorly made merchandise claiming to be the real deal.
Jazz: mixing up the beat
There are many different thoughts to the origin of Jazz. Why We Say claims the word is derived from the Louisiana French verb “jasper” which means to speed up, chatter, or make fun. As we know, “it don’t mean a thing, it it don’t got that swing.” doowop doowop doowop
Jeep: initially an Army ride
When the US Army designed their “General Purpose Car” they probably didn’t know that the “G.P.” would eventually been shortened to jeep.
morguefile image: click
one last minute “j”: jumping the gun
This one is easy. About 35 years ago, racers started off at the bang of run firing off a blank cartridge. Anticipation was undoubtedly high, so it wasn’t unusual for a runner to start off before the bang, which became known as jumping the gun.
Ooh! I actually knew the jeep one!
Jalopy’s origin, however, is a delightful surprise. Perhaps, jalopies should now be called Havanas.
Is that because they smoke like a cigar?
But no. Cuba seems to be the place where old American cars go to die.
Ah yes, I’ve seen the Natl Geo articles. The old round Chevies floating like bloated Easter Eggs on the Cuban streets.
I actually thought that the term Jeep came from an old Popeye (I think it was Popeye but it has been a long time) cartoon where the area is invaded by “jeeps” an invasive species that were near impossible to stop.
I remember “jeeps” from Popeye, too!