Way back when…at the conception faze…I wanted to call the site, “The Blog Maverick”. Unfortunately, Mark Cuban already had that one in use. And, truth be told, I’m not a very good maverick anyway.
So, I noodled around with a couple of other (trying to be catchy or clever) words and phrases. It was obvious to me that I needed something both succinct and unique as a title and URL. I wanted it to be easily type-able. I wanted it to be nonsensical to the casual observers. And, since it was always intended that the tone of the site would be irreverent and obnoxious and mildly offensive, I ended up with Jamoke.
Blogggr wouldn’t let me use ‘Jamoke’, however. There must be some kind of filter against using slang words. So, I added an ‘R’ to the end (you know, for the ‘R’ rating) and haven’t looked back.
But, there will always be the question about the definition of the root word. So, here’s what can be found on the web:
Jamoke is usually said to come from Java plus Mocha. When it first appeared, at the end of the nineteenth century, it literally meant coffee, and was sometimes written as Jamocha, which makes the origin a bit clearer (despite the coffee associations, linguists would say that the word is a clipped compound, not a blend …). An example, from a book called Gay-Cat of 1922: “There ain’t nothing stronger in the booze line than pure alky mixed with jamocha”.
Professor Jonathan Lighter, in the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, suggests that jamoke was probably a nautical term to start with. He points out, too, that the evidence suggests it was a World War I soldier’s nickname, perhaps for somebody whose colour or intellect resembled a cup of coffee. Sometime before 1946 it took on a sense of “a stupid, objectionable or inconsequential fellow”, as Mr Lighter puts it. This sense has further evolved in some quarters into one for a dupe or sucker, and was a 1960s slang term for the penis. It has also been used more neutrally for guy or man. (from WorldWideWords)
Definition provided by Lo Phat Ham
Jamoke, meaning “a stupid or inconsequential fellow,” is used mainly in informal speech or slang and only rarely appears in print.
Jamoke is thought to have originated about a century ago as jamocha in the argot of sailors or gangsters (or perhaps both). Jamocha was probably a blend of Java and Mocha, names of two locations famous for their coffee beans. What does coffee have to do with a stupid fellow? Nothing. In its original incarnation, jamocha was jargon for a cup of coffee, used much in the same way we use cup of java today. As recently as the Prohibition era, a writer used the “coffee” sense, observing, “There ain’t nothin’ stronger in the booze line than pure alky mixed with jamocha.”
We’re not sure how jamocha made the jump from coffee to cretins, but the extension of meaning seems to have occurred during the 1920s. It was then that members of the U.S. military began referring to each other first as jamochas (perhaps to identify someone who wasn’t any brighter or more important than a cup of coffee) and then as jamochs. The word seems to have settled into its jamoke spelling during the 1940s. (from RustyBrain)
and the last one…
Slang, insult; i.e. That “jamoke” down the street knows nothing. Also slang for penis. (pronounced JAH-MOHK)
Origins: At the end of the 19th century, it first appeared as a combination of the words “Java” and “Mocha,” meaning coffee, but “jamocha” eventually became “jamoke” or “jamoch”.
Around the late 1910′s – early 1920′s jamoke evolved from meaning coffee to a slang term for someone who lacked mental abilities beyond that of a cup of coffee. As time progressed, jamoke became common terminology to describe idiots, particularly in the 1940′s and WWII. In the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang Professor Jonathan Lighter suggests that jamoke was probably a nautical term to start with, and believes the term became common during WWI to describe a person whose color or intellect resembled a cup of coffee.
In the 1960′s jamoke began to be used as slang for penis.
There is some speculation that the slang terms “moke” or “mook” evolved from jamoke, however, those can be traced back further along a different etymology and are generally disregarded. (from Wiktionary)
So, there ya have it…a definitive answer…
Of course, I do NOT recall this whole penis angle being present when I reseached the etymology of the word way back when. Methinks it is a recent appearance.
Reminds me of something though…
We would call each other on the fone, blurt out “Penis”, and then hang up. (This became especially fun when it was known that someone had a guest in their room.) (link)
I guess some things never change…