[Updated 26 June 2007 with additional 1913 citations.]
There are a lot of stories about the origin of the word jazz, most amounting to no more than speculation asserted as fact. But patient accumulation of the evidence by researcher Gerald Cohen and others has finally sorted out the origin. Jazz started out as an early 20th century baseball term for pep or energy and transferred over to the vigorous and exciting new musical style.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton