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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2011-10-09 20:22:01

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1251

"Cherry can" for "jerry can"

In A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant, embracing English, American, and Anglo-Indian slang, Pidgin English, Tinkers’ Jargon and other irregular phraseology, from 1889:

Jerry. This word is common among the lower classes of the great cities of England in such phrases as jerry-go-nimble, diarrhoea ; jerry-shop, an unlicensed public-house with a back door entrance; and jerry-builder, a cheap and inferior builder who runs up those miserable, showy looking tenements, neither air-proof nor water-proof. Jerry seems derivable from the gypsy jerr or jir (i.e., jeer), the rectum, whence its application to diarrhoea, a back door, and all that is contemptible. From the same root we have the Gaelic jerie, pronounced jarey, behind; the French derrière. The Gaelic word also signifies wretched, miserable, in which sense it is strictly applicable to the jerry-builder, and to the contemptible characters popularly know as Jerry-sneaks. A Jerry, a chamber utensil, abbreviation of Jeroboam. (Popular), a round felt hat or pot hat.
Jerry-sneak. A henpecked husband (see also Jerries from 1807).

Did you enjoy the cute folk derivation of derriere from a Romany word for rectum (which I take to be xírpa)?

The original jerry can, for carrying fuel, was of German origin, which British troops apparently admired and copied in WWII. “Jerry” for the Germans was a derogatory nickname first used in WWI. The first plastic jerry can was the familiar red one, which does look sort of cherryish:

I see one of the smoke city betties, number 26, drinking from a red gasoline cherry can. Rocket fuel maybe? Go Bettie …
Rollergirl tweet

I’d keep a 3-4 litre cherry can full of gas in the trunk though, so I wouldn’t be stranded.
Car forum

By test runs I mean ride the crap out of it till it has no more gasoline to ride haha. Don’t worry, because it’s a test my friend was following me with a cherry can of gas ;)
Motorbike forum

See also jerry-built vs. jury-rigged.

Last edited by David Bird (2011-11-08 18:50:56)



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