Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Provocative Birding Jargon

I recently made reference to GISS (said to be an acronym for “General Impression of Size and Shape”), the process by which birders quickly identify common birds by their color, shape, size, and movements. GISS is often spelled phonetically as jizz. That’s all well and good, except that jizz has two very different meanings: (1) in a birding context, as just discussed, and (2) as a slang term for semen; the latter being the much more common usage. I’ve always secretly enjoyed this double entendre. But you should be aware that Google or Yahoo searches for jizz will each return more than 3 million pornographic Web pages, while the same search on Dogpile may return the following dire warnings:

You’ve entered a Web search term that is likely to contain adult content.

Warning!!!
If you are under 18 or live in a place that viewing adult content is prohibited, please revise your search.
If you want to Google or Yahoo the birding term, you’ll have to revise your search to bird jizz, but that sounds wickedly naughty too, doesn’t it?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why "real" (smiley emoticon turned on side winking) birders use the term GESTALT. The whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Also Jizz, as you found out, will make the younger male birders in a group start mumbling wisecracks under their breath.

Giss is too close to Jizz and is just plain stupid to use when you have the German GESTALT.

Thanks

June 29, 2006 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why "real" (smiley emoticon turned on side winking) birders use the term GESTALT. The whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Also Jizz, as you found out, will make the younger male birders in a group start mumbling wisecracks under their breath.

Giss is too close to Jizz and is just plain stupid to use when you have the German GESTALT.

Thanks

June 29, 2006 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term is Jizz and has been in the Anglo Irish language for nearly 100 years. The very first definition of it was in 1922 By Coward.
Thomas Coward’s book “Bird Haunts and Nature Memories”, first published in 1922. He devotes a full chapter to ‘jizz’ and describes it thus: “if we are walking on the road and see, far ahead, someone whom we recognise although we can neither distinguish features nor particular clothes, we may be certain that we are not mistaken; there is something in the walk, the general appearance which is familiar; it is in fact, that individual’s jizz. Coward attributed the word to the west-coast fishermen of Ireland who when asked how they could, at a glance, name various wild creatures which dwelt on or visited their rocks or shores, would reply “by their jizz”. (With thanks to Tony Usher).
This visit of Cowards pre dates the first word war (though published after it)and therefore puts the GISS military theory at a slight disadvantage.
Would have thought 100 years of usage makes it just as "worthy" of inclusion as the German word Gestalt

September 24, 2007 12:52 PM  

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