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Googly

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Googly

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:43 pm

• googly •


Pronunciation: gug-lee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Wide-open or protruding (eyes), agog, as in awe of something or swooning over someone. 2. Rolling, slowly spinning (eyes). 3. Quirky, eccentric, odd.

Notes: Today's Good Word has nothing to do with Google or the verb referring to a web search, to google. Rather, it refers to anything unusual about normal eyes: either protruding eyes, eye agog, or rolling eyes. 1919 saw the launch of the longest running comic strip in the history of comic strips, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, that inspired the song by Billy Rose, "Barney Google with the Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes" (1923). To make goo-goo-eyes or googly eyes at someone means "to be completely entranced by them".

In Play: This word is generally associated with eyes: "The Muppets are puppets with googly eyes the size of ping-pong balls." In the sense not referring to the eyes, you might hear something like this: "Morton acted a bit googly for a week after receiving the news that he was to become a father."

Word History: This word was originally a mispronunciation of goggle(-eyed) , which has existed since the 14th century. Googly has only been around since the turn of the 20th century; the first instance was recorded in 1901. Goggle is certainly related to agog. which is probably from Welsh gogi "to shake" or Scots Gaelic gog "a nodding or tossing of the head". One, now probably archaic, meaning of goggle was "shake the head". However, nothing further suggests itself on the origin of today's word. (Iain Smallwood's Good Word suggestions, like today's, often leave our readers a bit googly.)
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Re: Googly

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:23 pm

Apropos to today's post, Barney Google showed up in the Snuffy Smith comic strip this week, looking for Snuffy in a different place every day. Finally gave up and left. He shows up in the strip about once, maybe twice, a year.

I wonder whether that comic strip had any influence in the choice of the Google search engine's name?
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Re: Googly

Postby MTC » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:07 am

In response to Perry's question I found the following explanation online:

Origin of the name "Google"

From time to time I read or hear stories of the origin of the search engine and company name "Google" that are incorrect, which prompts me to write this brief account, based on my understanding of the genesis of the name. The source of my information is my friends and colleagues from Wing 3B of the Gates Computer Science Building at Stanford University, where Google was born.

In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin called their initial search engine "BackRub," named for its analysis of the web's "back links." Larry's office was in room 360 of the Gates CS Building, which he shared with several other graduate students, including Sean Anderson, Tamara Munzner, and Lucas Pereira. In 1997, Larry and his officemates discussed a number of possible new names for the rapidly improving search technology. Sean recalls the final brainstorming session as occurring one day during September of that year.

Sean and Larry were in their office, using the whiteboard, trying to think up a good name - something that related to the indexing of an immense amount of data. Sean verbally suggested the word "googolplex," and Larry responded verbally with the shortened form, "googol" (both words refer to specific large numbers). Sean was seated at his computer terminal, so he executed a search of the Internet domain name registry database to see if the newly suggested name was still available for registration and use. Sean is not an infallible speller, and he made the mistake of searching for the name spelled as "google.com," which he found to be available. Larry liked the name, and within hours he took the step of registering the name "google.com" for himself and Sergey (the domain name registration record dates from September 15, 1997).
(http://graphics.stanford.edu/~dk/google ... rigin.html)

"Googly" reminded me not of a comic strip, or of Google, but of Gogi Grant of The Wayward Wind fame: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSPLSo3U46Q‎)
I love the song.

Another popular song with the same theme is "Someday Soon" by Judy Collins. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIgnHPqp0Dk)

Returning to Gogi, "(s)he was given the name "Gogi" by Dave Kapp, the head of Artists and Repertory at RCA Records, who liked to patronize a restaurant called "Gogi's LaRue."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogi_Grant)

It turns out "Gogi" is a Native American name for "summer,"
and has nothing to do with "googly." So there you have it. Do with these invaluable but largely unrelated tidbits what you will, my fellow Goodwordians.
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Re: Googly

Postby call_copse » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:37 am

Nice to have another word up :-)

I'll just point out for posterity that the meaning of this word, at least in Commonwealth countries, is typically applied to:
a) a cricket delivery from a right handed spin bowler, breaking from off to leg side (i.e. the ball bounces with some impetus to the right of the direction of travel)
b) As normally a RH bowler would put spin on from leg to offside, the word is extended to mean any action that is intended to catch someone out

Of course I understand that this means as little to non-cricket playing countries as a 'slurve' might to those not familiar with baseball. Though I guess to be fair most would understand curveball in a general context.
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Re: Googly

Postby gtvanor » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:44 am

This is also a cricketing term referring to a disguised off-break bowled by a leg-break bowler.
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Re: Googly

Postby MTC » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:37 am

Or perhaps a double twisting one and a half gainer followed by a compound-complex fracture?
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Re: Googly

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:10 pm

gtvanor wrote:This is also a cricketing term referring to a disguised off-break bowled by a leg-break bowler.



WELCOME GTVANOR


Saw Barney Google this week as well. He was all
agog not finding Snuffy.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Googly

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:58 am

In the 1920s Billy Rose and Con Conrad wrote a song about Barney Google that immediately became a favorite. A lot of famous people sang it, including my mother.
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StkJTSAq0dE
Here are the lyrics:
Who's the most important man this country ever knew?
Who's the man our presidents tell all their troubles to?
No, it isn't Mr. Bryan and it isn't Mr. Hughes;
I'm mighty proud that I'm allowed a chance to introduce:
Barney Google—with the goo-goo-googly eyes,
Barney Google—had a wife three times his size;
She sued Barney for divorce,
Now he’s sleeping with his horse!
Barney Google—with the goo-goo-googly eyes!
Who's the greatest lover that this country ever knew?
Who's the man that Valentino takes his hat off to?
No, it isn't Douglas Fairbanks that the ladies rave about;
When he arrives, who makes the wives chase all their husbands out?
Barney Google—with the goo, goo, googly eyes,
Barney Google—bet his horse would win the prize;
When the horses ran that day,
Spark Plug ran the other way!
Barney Google—with the goo-goo-googly eyes!
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Googly

Postby misterdoe » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:45 pm

OK. I have to find the post online that ties all this together. But the short version:

  • The Barney Google comic strip is released, and becomes very popular, in part because of Barney's bulging eyes;
  • Someone writes the "Googly Eyes" song, introducing the term "googly" to most American ears;
  • Mathematician is looking for a name for his "new" number of 1 followed by 100 zeros. He asks his son, who's fixated on the googly-eyes song; he says "google," but the mathematician decides not to spell it like Barney's name;
  • Many years later, Larry Page and Sergey Brin choose Google as the name of their search engine, wanting to suggest just how huge they want their site's reach to be;
  • GEICO adds a googly-eyes thingy to their too-large collection of mascots/spokespeople, to some effect
Last edited by misterdoe on Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Googly

Postby call_copse » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:27 am

misterdoe wrote:...

  • Someone writes the "Googly Eyes" song, introducing the word googly to the language;
...


I'll just point out that the cricketing term pre-dates both Barney and the song, being introduced around 1903, so the word would have been introduced for some time by that point.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Bo ... (cricketer)

I do accept no-one in the US would be likely to know much about cricket - similarly no-one outside the US knows about Barney (me excepted, now at least).
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Re: Googly

Postby misterdoe » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:09 pm

call_copse wrote:
misterdoe wrote:...

  • Someone writes the "Googly Eyes" song, introducing the word googly to the language;
...

I'll just point out that the cricketing term pre-dates both Barney and the song, being introduced around 1903...

I do accept no-one in the US would be likely to know much about cricket - similarly no-one outside the US knows about Barney (me excepted, now at least).


I forgot about the earlier cricket-related posts, so I changed the item to "introduced the term to most American ears." I wouldn't say that no one in the US would have known about it, though my perspective is skewed by modern times. There have been cricket games played regularly on the weekend during the warm-weather months for years now in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, but the vast majority of the players are of West Indian or South Asian background. There are probably a lot more players deeper into New York City (Brooklyn, Queens), and in other areas with similar populations. I don't know how much cricket was being played here a century ago.
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Re: Googly

Postby call_copse » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

It does appear cricket has a rich history in the US, and was more popular than baseball until around 1855, with some resurgence especially among recent immigrants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of ... es_cricket
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Re: Googly

Postby misterdoe » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:36 pm

Thanks for the link. Sometimes when I say things off the top of my head they turn out to be half-true or inaccurate. But I've seen those cricketers for years now, though I don't go over that way on a regular basis. And that article you posted the link to specifically mentions the South Asian and West Indian players, and the Cricket in the United States Wiki article mentions the cricket matches in the shared-purpose areas of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
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