Josh
Posted: 09 September 2012 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Any of you got any information or plausible speculation about the identity of the Josh who got the jocular verb named after him?

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Posted: 09 September 2012 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The Word Detective has the goods in a post titled: And gimme a hundred of them nickel seegars. Scroll down a bit to find it.

Short answer:

My best guess is that “to josh” as a verb meaning “to joke” came from “josh” as a noun meaning a “rube” or “hick,” which in turn was based on the fact that “Joshua” was considered a typical rural name back in the 18th century, and thus a handy (though unfair) label for anyone likely to be taken in by a simple trick.

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