Originally Posted by drummaman1
The word "Jazz" itself is slang. The story goes that one of the gigs piano players used to get were playing the piano in the brothels. When a prostitute had a client she wasn't particularly fond of but still had to make money, she'd tell the piano player to "Jazz it up" so she doesn't have to spend much time with that person. That's one story.
Another is "Jazz" was one of the first euphemisms for semen.
The post earlier is a good description of the use of the word "cats" It was back then drumset players were "traps" players, "hitting the skins" back then it applied 'cause the drum heads were made of calfskin. Calling drums "tubs" cause they sounded tubby to some...
jazz is a purpose mispronunciation of jass
these piano players in the brothels recognized that the prostitutes all wore a perfume called Jasmine and they loved to dance to the swing of Ragtime piano to seduce their Johns.
these piano players would shorten Jasmine to jass....and say I got a job tonight going to play the jass.
then realizing Jasmine was pronounced Jazmine ....jass became jazz
and "cats" comes from common sayings at the time like...."the cats meow" being something of the best quality, the best performer, or a highly desired item
legend says that Louis Armstrong is among the first to refer to his peers as "cats"...and say things like "ya dig?"...when asking if you understand ...and saying things are "hip"
I have asked these questions many times to guys who learned from the people who were alive and relevant during the times when these sayings became popular ..... and these are the answers they gave me
see the Jass Fools here