alright geyser/geezer

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alright geyser/geezer

Post by Archived Topic » Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:21 am

Does anyone have any ideas how this epithet (geyser) emerged? It's been in commom usage for ages, but no one I've chatted to seems to know much about it. I've heard it said that it relates to someone who "spouts-off a lot" but that seems a bit thin to me. "Diamond geyser" is used universally in areas of the Home Counties to mean a great bloke...soild as a rock...as is "Del Boy geyser" to mean the opposite; a bag of air, con-man, someone who loves the sound of his own voice and is not to be trusted.
Any ideas?
Submitted by Robert Masters (Asia - Thailand)
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alright geyser/geezer

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:34 am

Robert, 'geyser' is a variant spelling of the more common 'geezer'. According to the _Cassell Dictionary of Slang_, Eric Partridge speculates that Wellington's troops may have picked it up from the Basque word 'giza', 'a man', during the Peninsular War of 1808-14.

On the other hand, Word Detective (http://www.word-detective.com/052598.html#geezer) states the following:

"Although we use it today to mean an old man, "geezer," when it first appeared in the late 1800's, simply meant a "chap" or "fellow" of any age. "Geezer" began as a dialectical pronunciation of a much older word, "guiser" (as in "disguise"), which appeared in the late 1400's meaning a masquerader or someone who wore a disguise. Both "guiser" and "geezer" were used to affectionately describe someone who was known as a "character" or "odd fellow," and it was only in the 1800's that "geezer" was narrowed to mean an old man."
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
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alright geyser/geezer

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:47 am

On rereading the 'Word Detective' quote, it seems apparent that its author, Evan Morris, meant 'dialectal' (i.e. relating to dialect usage) rather than 'dialectical' (a method of constructing logical propositions or arguments).
Reply from Erik Kowal ( - England)
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alright geyser/geezer

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Dec 11, 2004 3:14 am

Thanks, Erik. Lot's of stuff I didn't know here.
Rob
Reply from Robert Masters (Asia - Thailand)
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