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Jinx

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Jinx

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:23 pm

• jinx •


Pronunciation: jinks • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. An evil spell or streak of bad luck caused by someone or something. 2. The person or thing causing such an evil spell or streak of bad luck.

Notes: You may still encounter this word spelled jynx from the Modern Latin rendition of the older Latin form (see Word History). The plural today is jinxes. The noun may be used freely as a verb, as to jinx the proceedings with a black cat.

In Play: Las Vegas casinos once hired 'coolers' to walk around the floor and jinx the winning streaks of gamblers. William Macy played a cooler in a 2003 movie by the same name. But you don't have to be a professional to be a jinx: "Mick Stupp is a jinx—he's a good player, but any team he plays on always loses." In fact, people aren't the only jinxes: "Lorelei jinxed the meeting by wearing her unlucky shoes."

Word History: The modern form of today's Good Word came from Latin iynx "wryneck", an Old World woodpecker (Jynx torquilla or Jynx ruficollis) with the ability to twist its neck in contortions. This ability quickly brought it to the attention of witches, who used it in creating their charms and spells. At some point, this ingredient of the spell came to be the name of the spell itself. Latin borrowed the word from Greek iunx, but no one knows where the Greeks obtained it. Otherwise reliable sources have suggested that it was derived from the Greek verb iuzein "to call, cry", but neither the spelling nor meanings work out for this hypothesis. (We would not like to jinx our series by forgetting to thank Perry Dror of the Alpha Agora for suggesting—sometime in the past—that we add this word to our Good Word series.)
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Re: Jinx

Postby MTC » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:45 am

In the 2003 movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, the crew of HMS Surprise singles out Midshipman Hollum as a jinx or "Jonah." After the despondent Hollum jumps into the ocean cum cannon ball, the ship's fortunes improve dramatically.
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Re: Jinx

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:23 pm

A now defunct TV show about Federal Marshalls and
Witness Protection program had the chief actress and
her Mother whom she called Jinx, because everything
always went wrong when she was around.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Jinx

Postby Slava » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:48 pm

I actually know someone named Jynks. No bad luck seems to trail after her. Maybe it's because of the spelling.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Jinx

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:13 pm

There's a very elderly lady I visit who has a canine companion
named Jinx.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Jinx

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:45 pm

Jenks, Oklahoma is a suburb of Tulsa. As far as I know, Jenks has never been jinxed.

In my childhood, jinx was an incantation spoken by two children if they accidentally said the same thing at the same time. The last one of the two to say jinx was jinxed and had to do something good for the other. The good deed negated the jinx. As the son of an iconoclast, I was not allowed to engage in such frivolity.
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Re: Jinx

Postby Slava » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:58 pm

Then again, we have jinks, as in those which are usually high. No relation, simply homonymic, but fun to think about anyway, or so I hope.
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Re: Jinx

Postby MTC » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:30 am

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