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themoog
139112.  Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:09 am Reply with quote

Shirley Suze has it there. I couldn't find anything as relevant in my SOED but should have remembered Banded Jasper. Would be nice to track down something concrete to link them.

 
Bondee
139603.  Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:28 am Reply with quote

We had a wasp related tradition at my secondary school.

After the killing of the first wasp of the year, we had to write our initials on the floor with it by squishing it's corpse underfoot.

Was that peculiar to Matthew Arnold in Staines?

 
gerontius grumpus
139629.  Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:34 am Reply with quote

I thought the name 'jasper' for a wasp was related to their Latin name 'vespa'.
Like Suze, I haven't come across the the use of the name 'jasper' for wasps in the north, but I remember it from my school days in Gloucestershire.

Another difference I've noticed is in the south west, wasps nest underground and in the north east they tend to nest in bushes.

 
BondiTram
139660.  Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:43 am Reply with quote

I was born in Manchester and brought up in Nottingham, and I have never heard of 'Jasper' for wasp until today.
From my earliest memories they have never been any other then 'wabbies' to us.

 
Tim_C
192948.  Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:34 am Reply with quote

I was born in the South but grew up in Sheffield and now live in France. Jasper was used in our school when a wasp entered the classroom (it was like a call to arms!). Since moving to France it dawned on me that Jasper probably had something to do with the French word for wasp "GuÍpe", which also comes from Latin "Vespa". The older French version of GuÍpe was Guespe and you can imagine how Guespe and Jasper could be linked.

There is a very interesting explanation about the way Vespa became GuÍpe and Wasp on this page :

http://www.billcasselman.com/quebec_sayings/qs_five_metathesis.htm

Jasper, apparently is a form of the first name Casper!

 
Tas
192974.  Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:40 am Reply with quote

We always use to call them "Urrgh. Bloody Wasp! Shoo!" or at least my mum did.

:-)

Tas

 
Bumfle
436852.  Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:58 am Reply with quote

I grew up just south of Glasgow in the early 80s, and jasper was the cry when anything stripy buzzed past.

 
Jenny
436917.  Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:29 pm Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums, Bumfle :-)

 
hugorune
449409.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:41 pm Reply with quote

Bumfle wrote:
I grew up just south of Glasgow in the early 80s, and jasper was the cry when anything stripy buzzed past.


Weird. I grew up in the South of Glasgow in the 70's/80's and I've never heard wasps called that. Or bees. Or burglars.

 
gruff5
449412.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:47 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
...interesting stuff.....

Well, I at least found that interesting, Jenny!

I'd love it if they later found there was no genetic relationship - hah! now explain that, smartypants!

Maybe it's just like me going to USA and working and paying taxes to Uncle Sam or you coming to UK and working and paying taxes to Queen Lizzy?

(Bizzy Lizzy, bzz bzz)

 
AndyMcH
449466.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:17 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Weird. I grew up in the South of Glasgow in the 70's/80's and I've never heard wasps called that. Or bees. Or burglars.


nor me...

but wasps are C***S !

 
CB27
449795.  Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:57 am Reply with quote

They make the worst story tellers cos there's always a sting in the tail...




Anyone seen my coat?

 
Ameena
450027.  Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote

What, unlike pig storytellers who have a twist in theirs? ;)

 
MissYotsuba
1263723.  Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:06 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
As themoog notes, this term seems to be widespread in the southern half of England - as stated, it's used from the south west to East Anglia and also in parts of the midlands, but not in the north so far as I can tell.

No-one really seems to know its origin, "unknown but old" is about the best I can find. Very tentatively, I note that the mineral jasper is often banded and wonder if it might be something to do with this. The OED does give citations for the use of the word jasper as an adjective meaning something like "stripey", notably in the first English translation of Don Quixote (Shelton's of 1620).


We call them Jaspers up here in Lancashire. Well, we did when we were kids, so in 80's and 90's. Not used much anymore

 
Jenny
1263999.  Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:25 pm Reply with quote

Welcome MissYotsuba :-) I don't recall calling them anything in particular on my side of the Pennines!

 

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