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332796.  Thu May 08, 2008 11:50 am Reply with quote

Sorry - must admit I've never heard any version of jeep other than the Popeye one.

333105.  Fri May 09, 2008 4:48 am Reply with quote

Bud Sagendorf, Segar’s assistant, is quite certain of the origins of jeep.

In 1936, Segar had come up with drawings of his new character, but had no name for it. He and Sagendorf

had to decide what to call him. At breakfast one morning, as we were mulling over possible names, one entry on Segar’s list stood out like a neon sign: “Jeep.” There was no doubt; that was it, instantly as natural as calling a dog a dog. We checked English and foreign dictionaries to be sure it wasn't in use, then chose the name once and for all - and added a new word to the language.

The Jeep is capable of teleportation - it’s thought this might be why the cars were called jeeps, because they can get in anywhere.

Beale’s dictionary gives the Popeye origin as “prob.” Interestingly, he gives its first non-Popeye usage as “A member of the R Can NVR” (is that Royal Canadian Naval Reserve?) recorded from 1938. Secondly the military vehicle; thirdly, services’ slang for a girlfriend; and fourthly - a junior production engineer at the BBC! Must be some way we can make use of the latter ...

Anyway, I think we can safely say that Jeep comes from Popeye, and that if the General Purposes belief is widespread then it is indeed a General Ignorance.

Shortly after Eugene’s arrival, Popeye consults Professor Brainstine, the self-declared smartest man in the world, to ask the simple question: “Wha’s a Jeep?”

This is the professor’s reply: “A Jeep is an animal living in a three dimensional world - in this case our world - but really belonging to a fourth [sic] dimensional world. Here's what happened. A number of Jeep life cells were somehow forced through the dimensional barrier into our world. They combined at a favorable time with free life cells of the African Hooey Hound. The electrical vibrations of the Hooey Hound cell and the foreign cell were the same. They were kindred cells. In fact, all things are to some extent relative, whether they be of this or some other world. Now you see - the extremely favorable conditions of germination in Africa caused a fusion of these life cells. So the uniting of kindred cells caused a transmutation. The result, a mysterious strange animal.” He asks Popeye if he has any further questions. Popeye says “Yeah - Wha’s a Jeep?”

S: “Popeye, the first fifty years” by Bud Sagendorf (Workman Publishing, 1979).
“A concise dictionary of slang and unconventional English” ed Paul Beale (after Partridge), (Routledge 1991).

333147.  Fri May 09, 2008 5:53 am Reply with quote

Grrrr, I just didn't think to look in Partridge - I'm getting dozy in my old age!

That military body would be the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.

So all in all, Thimble Theater seems very much more likely than the GP idea. But if Popeye was the answer you'd have given all along, do enough people believe the other to make it GenIg?

333152.  Fri May 09, 2008 5:58 am Reply with quote

I reckon that most people think it comes from "General Purpose" - comes up in quizzes all the time.

re: spinach, we ran a question last year about what a poor source of iron it is. Strangely, while the Times says:

New Scientist reports. However, the steroids would not allow one to bulk up like Popeye. To replicate the study effect it would be necessary to eat 1kg of spinach a day.

New Scientist actually reports that:

You would need to eat more than a kilogram of spinach every day to gain equivalent amounts

333248.  Fri May 09, 2008 7:24 am Reply with quote

A study has shown that dust mites cannot live in the "warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed".

Dunno what the question could be, but could be good to tell the world that making your bed is a bad idea.

333250.  Fri May 09, 2008 7:27 am Reply with quote

Furthermore, according to this site:


The belief that lice tend to prefer clean hair is somewhat of a fallacy - they'll live anywhere there's blood

That's a fact the everyone knows, isn't it?


Contrary to popular belief, head lice do not jump, hop or fly. They are, in fact, spread by head to head contact with someone who's infected.

333263.  Fri May 09, 2008 7:43 am Reply with quote

I think I've posted before that counting sheep is a particularly bad way of getting to sleep, but this article has some good novel ways:

Tensing until your muscles hurt may not seem the most sensible way of getting to sleep, but it's a popular and proven cognitive technique.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is about exaggerating the feeling of relaxation to help the mind and body wind down.

Systematically tense each muscle group in turn until it starts to hurt - about 20 seconds - and then let go. This creates a warm feeling of relaxation, and any tension should flow away.


Just repeating "the" could be the solution. It's known as a blocking strategy, another cognitive technique. The aim is to stop the mind racing.

Repeating a simple word like "the" at irregular interval blocks other thoughts coming into your head.

"If you say the word at regular intervals, you stop thinking about what you are saying and other thought come back in," says Professor Morgan.

Must be some milage in this?!

333266.  Fri May 09, 2008 7:47 am Reply with quote

Question: Who was the first person to score a perfect 10 in a gymnastic event at the Olympics?

Forfeit: Nadia Comineci (or however it's spelled)


In gymnastics 24 men score a perfect 10.Twenty-three of them scored it in the now discontinued event of rope-climbing. Albert Seguin scored a 10 here and also a perfect 10 on side vault.

wiki: 1924 Olympics

Would have to check that this was not done before though.

333278.  Fri May 09, 2008 7:57 am Reply with quote

Repeating a simple word like "the" at irregular interval blocks other thoughts coming into your head.

"If you say the word at regular intervals, you stop thinking about what you are saying and other thought come back in," says Professor Morgan.

Gordon Brown uses "I am going to listen more." A nonsense phrase, chosen at random, has no particular meaning, but it does help block out nasty thoughts.

333284.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:05 am Reply with quote

As Flash says, if we can be funny about a subject, then it must be usable. It fits in with the cheese-board of dreams as well.

333288.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:09 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
Would have to check that this was not done before though.

On the case - David Wallechinsky's Complete Book of the Olympics has been pulled from the shelf and dusted.

333293.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:14 am Reply with quote

Would anyone else have said Comaneci? I'm sure I would. Maybe it's a bit sporty for us, but then on the other hand, the fact that it was done in "rope climbing" is quite funny.

333298.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:17 am Reply with quote

I would have thought it a shame to discontinue the rope-climbing just when people seemed to be getting the hang of it.

I think I might have guessed at Nadia, or I might have ventured Olga Korbut. I don't think Olga did get a perfect score, but her name sounded like "Corps Boot", which was fun if you were in the Combined Cadet Force.

333307.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:29 am Reply with quote

The belief that lice tend to prefer clean hair is somewhat of a fallacy -

I like that, because it's a debunking of a debunking.

333312.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:34 am Reply with quote

OK, the Wallechinsky book has been suitably consulted.

Albert Séguin of France didn't even win the rope climbing event; it was won by Bedřich Šupčík of Czechoslovakia. The book shows Séguin's "score" for second place as 7.4 and Šupčík's as 7.2 - so I suspect these are times, which seems a pretty reasonable way to score such an event.

M Séguin did however win the Sidehorse Vault, an event not contested by men before or since. (Men take the vaulting horse lengthways, women used to take it sideways although I don't think they do any more. But 1924 was the only time that men got to attempt the vault "the girls' way".)

And the book shows his score in the event as 10.00, so he does indeed seem to have achieved a perfect score. I can confirm that there was no earlier perfect score in gymnastics; do you need me to check other sports which use a non-absolute scoring system?

Source: Wallechinsky, D (1984). Complete Book of the Olympics Penguin Books, Harmondsworth.

EDIT: I would have given the Romanian woman as the answer if asked. Her name is Nadia Comăneci, which is pronounced "common etch", almost exactly.

Last edited by suze on Fri May 09, 2008 9:01 am; edited 1 time in total


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