The word “google” before the company Google
Posted: 13 July 2011 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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There was a comic strip Barney Google long before the company Google. If I Google for Barney Google I come up with a Wikipedia launch date of 1919 but if Wikipedia says what ‘’google’’ meant back then I cannot find it. Elsewhere I found a reference to a cricket term “google” listed as early 20c.

What did “google” mean at the time of the launching of Barney Google?

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Posted: 13 July 2011 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Barney Google probably got his name from the adjective googly, applied to eyes that were large and round. The OED dates the adjective to 1901. Barney’s eyes were drawn as large and round. There are also goo-goo eyes, from 1900, which mean amorous, loving eyes.

The cricket use is from an entirely different, and unknown, source. A googly, from 1903, is a type of bowl. (I’m not going to attempt to describe the differences in cricket bowls.) The verb to google, from 1907 is to bowl a googly to the batsman.

The origin of the corporate name is on the Big List.

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Posted: 13 July 2011 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dave nailed it.

For “google,” the number, wkipedia offers.

For “google” the company, wikipedia offers.

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Posted: 13 July 2011 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Dave Wilton - 13 July 2011 09:12 AM

Barney Google probably got his name from the adjective googly

Where I grew up, we fished for goggle-eyes (or rock bass).  Goggle and googly look related.

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Posted: 13 July 2011 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Let’s not forget Barney’s song, with the goo-goo-googly eyes.

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Posted: 13 July 2011 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dave Wilton - 13 July 2011 09:12 AM

A googly, from 1903, is a type of bowl. (I’m not going to attempt to describe the differences in cricket bowls.) [/url]

Just as well, because the technical term would be “delivery” rather than “cricket bowl”. False parallel with baseball “pitch”, there, I think. (This is not a get-at: I have no idea at all about American sports terminology, and would not expect an American to know all the details of cricket jargon.)

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Posted: 13 July 2011 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I found it interesting that for “goggle eyes,” (different from OP’s interest which is “google eyes") I did find this in a work by Robert Hooke, Micrographia:... published, 1647:

books?id=W5FqAAAAMAAJ&pg=PT122&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0IzrUOk4s9CZRiM2rZxBc6qSi-2w&ci=117,904,689,226&edge=0

Did we have “goggles” as in ‘eye-protective safety glasses’ at that time?  Or did “goggles” become named such over time?

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Posted: 13 July 2011 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I knew I would screw up the cricket jargon somehow. I’ll not apologize for being an American.

DARE has google-eye as a Wisconsin term for the woodcock, attested to in 1968. I would imagine that there are a number of animals with that as a local name.

[ Edited: 13 July 2011 01:14 PM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 13 July 2011 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hasn’t been mentioned in thread yet that the number is a googol, and the Google founders deliberately misspelled it.

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Posted: 14 July 2011 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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For the non-cricket lovers out there, a short description of a ‘googly’ might be useful. Imagine bowling/throwing a ball to a batter, with the intention of having the ball hit the ground first about 1 - 2m in front of the batter. Assume you are a right hander. Now imagine that the way you bowl/throw the ball means that it will spin from right to left. That might be your normal delivery/bowl/pitch. The batter might get used to this spin and start to anticipate it. Now imagine that with a very similar action of the hand and wrist you were able to get the ball to spin the other way, without the knowledge of the batter until after the ball had hit the ground. The batter would then have very little time to react. Such a delivery, that spins the other way would be a googly. To be more precise it is bowled by wrist spinners, where the spin is parted by bringing the ring finger up along one side of the ball and giving the wrist a flick just before the ball is released. A googly is more commonly referred to in Australia as a wrong’un.
The above is provided by a cricket loving South Pondian, in case anyone cares.

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Posted: 14 July 2011 11:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I don’t think Australia is South Pondian… The Pond in that case is the Atlantic, to which Australia is not adjacent.

On the contrary we are quite antiPondian.

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Posted: 30 July 2011 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’ve just come across the word “gongoozler” used by canal boatmen to mean someone who stares at things going on in and around canals, and also a person who stares at nothing.  (I’m one of those).  Gongoozler may or may not be connected to google, but it’s a lovely word and I’m now trying to find more about English canal boatmen’s traditional lingo.  If anyone can point me to a glossary, I’d be grateful.  There’s been some speculation that Polari was linked to their dialect. 

Origin unknown; but compare Lincolnshire dialect gawn ‘stare vacantly or curiously’, gooze (also goozen) ‘stare aimlessly, gape’ ( Eng. Dial. Dict.).(Show Less)

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Posted: 30 July 2011 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Here is a short glossary, inadequate recompense for such a wonderful word as gongoozler, but the best I could do at the moment.

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Posted: 16 August 2011 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Well Google comes from the mathematical term “googol” - the figure 1 followed by 100 zeros.

For those who have seen the “Hot Tub Time Machine” , a time traveller travels back to the past and “re-invents” the famous search engine with the name “Loogle”.
So “Loogle” is undoubtedly the earlier use of the word.

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