As with many words that began in slang, there is no definitive etymology for jazz.However, the similarity in meaning of the earliest jazz citations to jasm, a now-obsolete slang term meaning spirit, energy, vigor and dated to 1860 in the Historical Dictionary of American Slang, suggests that jasm should be considered the leading candidate for the source of jazz."I got a new curve this year," softly murmured Henderson yesterday, "and I'm goin' to pitch one or two of them tomorrow.I call it the Jazz ball because it wobbles and you simply can't do anything with it." As prize fighters who invent new punches are always the first to get their's [sic] Ben will probably be lucky if some guy don't [sic] hit that new Jazzer ball a mile today.The earliest known references to jazz are in the sports pages of various West Coast newspapers covering the Pacific Coast League, a baseball minor league.The earliest example, found by New York University librarian George A. in 2003, is from the Los Angeles Times on April 2, 1912, referring to Portland Beavers pitcher Ben Henderson: BEN'S JAZZ CURVE.Deepening the nexus among these words is the fact that "spunk" is also a slang term for semen, and that "spunk"—like jism/jasm—also means spirit, energy, or courage (for example: "She showed a lot of spunk").
The article uses jazz several more times and says that the San Francisco Seals' "members have trained on ragtime and 'jazz' and manager Del Howard says there's no stopping them." The context of the article as a whole shows that a musical meaning of jazz is not intended; rather, ragtime and "jazz" were both used as markers of ebullient spirit. Or, if you like this better: "Blue" Marion sat down and jazzed the jazziest streak of jazz ever.Gleeson used jazz in a number of articles in March and April 1913, and other journalists began to use the term as well. They started in the south half a century ago and are the interpolations of darkies originally. Saxophone players since the advent of the "jazz blues" have taken to wearing "jazz collars," neat decollate things that give the throat and windpipe full play, so that the notes that issue from the tubes may not suffer for want of blues – those wonderful blues.The Bulletin on April 5, 1913, published an article by Ernest J. The blues are never written into music, but are interpolated by the piano player or other players. Examples in Chicago sources continued over the next year, with the term beginning to extend to other cities by the end of 1916. The first known use in New Orleans, discovered by lexicographer Benjamin Zimmer in 2009, appeared in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Nov.Amateur etymologist Barry Popik has located a number of examples from the Berkeley Daily Californian and the Daily Palo Alto, showing that jazz in this sense was collegiate slang at the University of California, Berkeley in the period 1915 to 1917 and at Stanford University in the period 1916 to 1918. However, the fact remains that their popularity has already reached Chicago, and that New York probably will be invaded next.President Benjamin Ide Wheeler at Berkeley apparently used jazz with such frequency that many supposed he originated the term, although the Daily Californian stated on February 18, 1916, that he denied this. The "jazz" had put pep into the legs that had scrambled too long for the . But, be that as it may, the fact remains the only and original are to be found here and here alone. A leading contender is Bert Kelly, a musician and bandleader who was familiar with the California slang term from being a banjoist with Art Hickman's orchestra.