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Old December 01, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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Location: Tenerife
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
No dictionary I checked gave an etymology. It would be my guess that the 'jingle' in 'jingle bell' could also be an adjective, a verb, or a noun.
My take on the song "Jingle Bells" is not the same as yours. I hear "Jingle bells (noun), Jingle bells (noun), Jingle (present tense 3rd-person plural verb) all the way." "Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!"
Jingle is clearly onomatopoeic, and I would bet with pjt that jingle is an imperative in that annoying song. Having said that, Jingle bells (noun) is just as likely. In this particular case, I'm afraid I don't care much.

Edit: Wiki says

Music historian James Fuld notes that the "the word jingle in the title and opening phrase is apparently an imperative verb."[3] However, it is commonly taken to mean a certain kind of bell.

So there we are. It is possible that at the time of writing the song, Pierpont meant the verb. On the basis of the expression in the song, the noun 'jingle bell' was invented, or just misunderstood. This is my theory, which is either brilliant, or total crap.

Last edited by Perikles; December 01, 2009 at 11:58 AM.
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