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flying jenny n

Also flying jinny, ~ jinnie, ~ ginny[jenny 1, prob from its earliest form being a pole that was ridden astride (see 1a quot 1946)]

1 An amusement device in which riders are whirled in a horizontal circle; a merry-go-round; spec:

a Any of various simple contrivances in which the riders supply the motive power.chiefly South, South MidlandSee Map

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contains mapscontains audiocontains DARE survey quotes
  • 1876 in 1969 PADS 52.52 neIL, We had a spring board flying jinnie etc we had lots of fun.
  • 1916 DN 4.268 New Orleans LA, NC, Flying jinny. . . A home-made form of carousel.
  • 1940 Hench Coll. VA, Flying jenny or jinny. [Drawing shows a pole with a rotating hub at the top, from which hang ropes or chains; children run holding on to these and are swung outwards by centrifugal force.]
  • 1946 PADS 6.14 eNC, Flying jenny. . . A sixteen-foot pole five inches in diameter with a hole through the center. In this hole was a wooden or metal peg, which rested on a stump or some other wooden foundation. The jinny was rotated by some children while others rode it.
  • 1954 PADS 21.28 SC, Flying jinny.
  • 1958 PADS 29.10 TN, Flying jinny. . . It was a wheel or board on a post on which people rode round and round.
  • c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Flying-jenny. . . Sometimes made by cutting down a slender sapling and using the stump for the base, the rest of the tree for the moving part.
  • 1965–70 DARE
    Qu. EE32, A homemade merry-go-round
    107 Infs, chiefly Sth, S Midl, Flying jenny (or jinny);
    Qu. EE31
    Inf GA44, Flying jenny.
  • 1966–67 DARE Tape
    • FL8, The board that was put on this stump was a wide board . . , and a hole was bore into that, and then to hold onto the stump you’d need a long iron pin. . . The pin held it on the stump. . . It was known as a flying jinny. . . A child would sit on either end. It would just whirl round. . . A third person was usually needed to get them going, perhaps keep them going;
    • TX3, They called ’em flying jennies, where they turned round. [FW:] . . Was it something up on a pole, that they could go round on that way? [Inf:] Yes. . . It was a seat that turned around and around like that.
  • 1969 PADS 52.52 LA, [Footnote to flying jinnie:] Saw off a straight, four or five-inch-thick tree about two and a half feet from the ground; whittle the top of the stump to form a pivot several inches high; trim the tree trunk to form a long pole; bore a hole through the pole at the point of balance; place the bored pole on the pivot. This piece of makeshift playground equipment was used as a combination seesaw and merry-go-round.
  • 1980 Foxfire 6 201 nGA, Mack Dickerson remembers a small oak stump about four feet high. They used a plank with a hole drilled in the center. The flying jenny would last longer when they used axle grease.
flying jenny 1a + var (Qq. EE32, EE31)

b A carnival ride powered by an animal or motor.

Also called flying horse 1a

  • 1906 DN 3.136 nwAR, Flying jinny. . . A merry-go-round. Originally the propelling power was furnished by a mule.
  • 1908 DN 3.311 eAL, wGA, Flyin(g)-jinny. . . A merry-go-round. Universal.
  • 1939 FWP Guide Tennessee 168 (as of c1869), Thoni designed and carved the first wooden animals to stand upon a “Flying Jenny” (merry-go-round).
  • 1945 Sat. Eve. Post 9 June 17/3, Today, the carrousel—or “flying jinny” as she is known in the trade—is lighted by as many as 2200 electric bulbs.
  • 1953 AmSp 28.116 [Carnival talk], Flying Jenny.
  • 1959 Faulkner Mansion 317 MS, Them frustrated dogs [were] circling round and round the automobile like the spotted horses and swan boats on a flying jenny.
  • [1978 AmSp 53.198 cwAR, I can remember they had those merry-go-rounds pulled by a mule, a jenny. . . They had little double seats with a tent hung over it, and this jenny was inside.]

2 See quot.

  • 1930 Shoemaker 1300 Words 23 cPA Mts (as of c1900), Flying-ginny—A small wind-mill, sometimes used at mountain communities to draw water or run a chop-mill.