Series J, Episode 1 - Jargon
- All the buzzers are of unusual musical instruments beginning with "J". Bill has a jarana, a Mexican percussive instrument. Victoria has a jouhikko, a Finnish instrument. Jimmy has a jalalaika, a Russian instrument. Alan has a Jewish harp, originally called a "jaws harp" because the string is held between the teeth.
- The panel are presented with some obscure words beginning with "J" and are asked what they mean.
- XL: Dr. Johnson tied up himself with his padlock. He was a sickly man, suffering from scrofula (aka The King's evil), gout, half-blind, palsy, dropsy, flatulence, OCD and possibly from Tourette's syndrome. He had violent tics, seizures and outbursts. When went to live with a Mrs. Hester Thrale in Streatham whom he was deeply in love with. He told her that he has a padlock and chain and if at any point he got out of control he gave her permission to chain him up. However, Mrs. Thrale went off to Italy and married an Italian. Mrs. Thrale said: "Says Johnson, a woman has such power between the ages of 25 and 45 that she may tie a man to a post and whip him if she will. This, he knew of himself, was literally and strictly true."
- The one thing we can all agree that Hitler, Stalin and Franco got right that Mussolini got wrong was that the first three all hated jazz while Mussolini liked it. It should be pointed out however that this is the opinion of the QI elves and not of Stephen who does like jazz. Mussolini's son Romano was one of post-war Italy's greatest jazz musicians and went on to play with Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Chet Baker.
- If you look at birds the thing the immediately comes to mind when you look at them is their jizz. The origin of the word is disputed. Some say it is comes from "GISS" an acronym of "General Impression Size and Shape". It came from being able to spot what shape a plane was during the war high up in the sky. However there is no evidence to support this claim. Other say that the word is a contraction of "just is", (you can't say why it looks like it, it just is), or it comes from "gist".
- The thing that Watson did twice as often as Holmes was ejaculate. During the time the novels were written to "ejaculate" meant "to exclaim". There are 23 ejaculations in the canon, 11 from Watson and 6 from Holmes. Holmes at one point refers at Watson's "ejaculations of wonder being invaluable to his art". Watson also ejaculates from his very heart in the direction of his fiancé. One sentence reads, "So he sat as I dropped off to sleep, and so he sat when a sudden ejaculation caused me to wake up." One character called Phelps in The Naval Treaty ejaculates three times. The only other ejaculator is Mrs. Sinclair's husband who ejaculates from second-floor window.
- XL: The people whose speech intones, harangues and declaims in a long, meandering cascade of sounds, syllables, stresses and intonations that might at first seem to be full of sense and meaning, but soon reveal itself to be an empty, vain, hollow and completely meaningless stream of gibberish are babies. There are phrases in the development of their speech, known as "Toddler jargon". (Forfeit: You do, Stephen)
- The first person to use the expression "OMG" as we use it today was Lord Fisher in 1917. He wrote a letter to Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty during the First World War, saying: "I hear that a new order of knighthoods is on the tapis [on the carpet]. OMG (Oh my God), shower it on the Admiralty." In Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Abbreviations in 1942 contains abbreviations such as "agn" (again), "mth" (month) and "gd" (good).
- Arabic numbers are actually Hindu in origin, so they most likely came from India. In Arabic they called them "Hindu numbers" and Arabic numbers have very little in common with Hindu numbers. On a small number of numerals such as "9" look similar to the Hindu ones.
- XL: The most difficult word to guess in a game of hangman is "Jazz". Victoria however argues that the difficult word is "Cull" because "U" is the last vowel people go for. A researcher simulated 50 hangman games for every word in the dictionary, totalling 90,000 words and nearly 5,000,000 games. The 1,000 trickiest words were taken, played the game 3,000 times for each word, playing a total of 15 million games. Other than jazz, other difficult words include "hajj", "lynx", "buzz" and "fuzz".
- So, why is the March Hare so important to the Aztecs? The Aztec worshipped rabbits as opposed to hares, but there are many people who believe that the rabbits worshipped by the Aztecs were jackrabbits, which are technically a type of hare, so they could have been important to the Aztecs after all. (Forfeit: Worship it)
- XL: Stephen shows a panel a jigger device, operated by Alan, which is used by the Inuit to fish. This is used to put a net down into the ice. A leaver is used to thread a net from one ice hole to another, with the leaver resting on the ice upside-down. As you pull the net, the leaver moves across the ice.
- Friday 14th September 2012
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Victoria Coren Mitchell (as Victoria Coren)||Guest|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|