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Joystick

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mckeonj
846141.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:21 pm Reply with quote

The computer gadget joystick is derived from the upright stick used to control aircraft in the early days of aviation. It was. almost literally, a broom handle which came up from the floor between the pilots legs, the distal end being connected by cables to the control surfaces.
This yoke* appeared to be an upright penis, with which the pilot was fiddling.

*yoke is an alternative name often used by pilots and gamers, but strictly speaking the yoke is a control device similar to a car steering wheel, but with more degrees of freedom; and resembles the yoke used by farmhands to carry burdens.

There is a nice, but probably apocryphal, story about the origin of the word 'joystick' in this context. It was already soldiers' slang for the male member.
In the early days of the Great War, the army started using aircraft for reconnaissance, and later in combat. Pilots had to be trained, which was difficult, as most aircraft were single-seated. Of course, only officers were chosen for training, which meant them getting into an aircraft and flying solo from the start. The instructors were skilled pilots or mechanics, mostly from the ranks. The instructor would stand on the ground with a megaphone, shouting instructions up to the tyro above.
One day, a sergeant instructor was shouting up to his officer pupil, who was making an awful fist of it:
"Mr Skeffington-Smythe, you are a bloody fool, sir! Stop playing with your joystick and start flying."

 
mckeonj
846144.  Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:25 pm Reply with quote

Further to the above, I have heard 'laptop' used in a bawdy sense.

 

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