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Author Topic: A man's "Johnson"
rocksong
Deck the Malls


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Every now and then, I've read the slang term of a man's "Johnson".

Now here in Australia there is a very well known racing car driver called Dick Johnson. So naturally I thought that was the origin of the word.

But today I discovered that some Americans use the term as well.

So what's the origin of "Johnson"? Is it really an Australian euphemism which has caught on in the northern hemisphere, or does it have an entirely different origin?

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Anyone out there have access to an OED?

When is/was Dick Johnson? Because my grandparents used the word back in the 20s and 30s.

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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rocksong
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties in the arborvitae:
Anyone out there have access to an OED?

When is/was Dick Johnson? Because my grandparents used the word back in the 20s and 30s.

Aha. Further googling reveals there is a town in Indiana called "Dick Johnson". I'm guessing that's the origin of "Johnson" as a euphemism.
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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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You can guess, but I don't think you're right. We really need an OED to see when the term first appeared in the language. Too bad all the Brit snopesters are asleep right now, and most if not all of the USAian librarians. [Frown]

Check back again in a few hours.

ETA: I found this on my first google of "etymology + Johnson":
quote:
johnson -- "penis," 1863, perhaps related to British slang John Thomas, which has the same meaning (1887).


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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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GI Joe
Jingle Bell Hock


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I thought - always a dangerous undertaking - that in the US, the origin of 'Johnson' came from R. G. Johnson, who made baseball bats in his Sebago Bat Company, Sebago Lake, Maine. He always burned 'R. G. Johnson' into his bats, and since they were quality items used by pros, they were well known. Given the popularity of baseball in the US, and the understandable male tendancy to, uh, optimism, the metaphor was just begging to be drawn.

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Once a Warrior Prince

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties in the arborvitae:
You can guess, but I don't think you're right. We really need an OED to see when the term first appeared in the language. Too bad all the Brit snopesters are asleep right now, and most if not all of the USAian librarians. [Frown]

Check back again in a few hours.

ETA: I found this on my first google of "etymology + Johnson":
quote:
johnson -- "penis," 1863, perhaps related to British slang John Thomas, which has the same meaning (1887).

The OED lists the 1863 usage as the first (It was a poor soul named WB Cheadle writing in his Jrnl. Trip across Canada , relating how his neck, face, and the organ in question were all frozen). It does not give an etymology.
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CD
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by pballard:


Now here in Australia there is a very well known racing car driver called Dick Johnson. So naturally I thought that was the origin of the word.


What is it with race car driver's and phallic sounding names?


Dick Trickle

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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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quote:
Originally posted by pballard:
Every now and then, I've read the slang term of a man's "Johnson"....

Which, no doubt, must be the source of inspiration for all those tacky "Big Johnson" T-shirts you see among People of a Certain Class--usually Kankerdom or lower....

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
The OED lists the 1863 usage as the first (It was a poor soul named WB Cheadle writing in his Jrnl. Trip across Canada , relating how his neck, face, and the organ in question were all frozen). It does not give an etymology. [/QB]

Too bad the word "Cheadle" didn't catch on instead...

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InfraPurple
The First USA Noel


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And to think my dad used to call me 'Johnson' all the time..... [Roll Eyes]

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While I wasn't falling down or anything, gravity and I did have an interesting relationship for a short time. - Purple Iguana

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Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Turner727:
And to think my dad used to call me 'Johnson' all the time..... [Roll Eyes]

[lol] Your remark reminded me of an old comedy troupe called the Ace Trucking Company, who were regulars on Tom Jones's TV show (I'm going back to the 1970's). One fellow had a running character named Raymond J. Johnson Jr., who would say when someone called him Johnson, "Ya doesn't have to call me Johnson...You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay or you can call me Ray J....etc, etc."

I did not know that "Johnson" for "penis" goes back to the 1860's. The story I heard was that it was named for LBJ, who was notorious for displaying his organ in public (i.e. urinating in front of the press).

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InfraPurple
The First USA Noel


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Funny you should mention that. I might have the email around somewhere, but I did email Dad and ask him about that commedian. He used to say that all the time too. I can't remember the name of the guy who did the bit, and I can't find the email....

I certainly hope that's where he got Johnson from....

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While I wasn't falling down or anything, gravity and I did have an interesting relationship for a short time. - Purple Iguana

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Maybe we should look to Richard Mentor Johnson, U.S. Vice President, whose campaign slogan, IIRC, ran something like

quote:

Ripsy! Rampsy! Ripsy! Rumpsy!
I, Dick Johnson, killed Tecumseh!

Brad "btw, he probably didn't" from Georgia

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race_bannon
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I believe the "you can call Ray, you can call me Jay" routine was done by Billy Seluga. I think it was even on an early Miller Lite commercial. I may be wrong, but I may be right.
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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by race_bannon:
I believe the "you can call Ray, you can call me Jay" routine was done by Billy Seluga. I think it was even on an early Miller Lite commercial. I may be wrong, but I may be right.

No you're right--he was. I loved the Miller Lite ads from that time!

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Ve cut off your Johnson, Lebowshki! Ve cut off your Johnson!!!

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Amongst my little circle of peers we call it "your junk".

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"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I tend to refer to mine as "The Ol' Heatseeking Moisture Missile."

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High on the wind, the Highland drums begin to roll, and something from the past just comes and stares into my soul... --Mark Knopfler

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Jack Dylan
Deck the Malls


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Speaking of the 'You can call me Ray' thing, does anyone know if this is what Bob Dylan is referring to in the song 'Gotta Serve Somebody'?

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Eppis: Do you know why being a revolutionary doesn't work in this country? Being a revolutionary in America is like being a spoil sport at an orgy. All these goodies being passed around and you feel like a shit when you say no.

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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In a rerun of Law & Order last night, Dennis Farina's character (Det. Fontana) refers to a guy's "Johnson rod". Perhaps that's the original terminology?

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As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

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senor boogie woogie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hola!

I have only heard the term "Johnson" in one of the greatest movies of our time, "The Big Lebowski".

President Lyndon Johnson used to call his johnson "Jumbo", as not to confuse the penis to the dick that was its owner.

Senor

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