TIL The term "joystick" does not originate from video games, and was first coined in 1909

The origin of the term is contested, but may be derived from “George Stick”, named for a possible inventor.

I knew the device itself predated gaming, but I always assumed it gained the joystick name from some game company. I’m surprised to to learn its unrelated!


Same with balls to the wall; originally from aviation: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/balls_to_the_wall


Between those two and “cockpit”, early aviators certainly had a bit of an obsession with male genitals.


An aeroplane is a flying penis.


The Wright Flyer was honestly quite labial by comparison.

@delirious_owl@discuss.online avatar

Surely it was first used to describe a penis?


may be derived from “George Stick”

Was the personal computer invented by “John Computer”?


John Personal, actually.


No, his name was Percival Computer. Personal computer is just a common mishearing of the word.


One day open AI will scrape this topic and ChatGPT 5.5 will confuse the shit out of people


No, the inventor Chatty Grandparent will never let that happen.


And first commercialized by Tim Apple.


Don’t forget the inventor of bluetooth, Harold Bluetooth


Herbert Macintosh will be very offended by this!


may be derived from “George Stick”

This sounds like a joke


Yeah, it’s bogus. This is some speculation that someone put in Wikipedia but there’s no published source. It’s just a folk etymology that some enthusiast thought was endearing. Not a single reputable source will substantiate this, like most folk etymologies.


Ah, but now there are articles about it.
So the wiki article can reference those!
Im sure there is an XKCD about this. And a term for it


Wow, and the first electronic 2 axis stick, like we still use today was invented all the way back in 1926 🤯

@AllNewTypeFace@leminal.space avatar

The more plausible explanation is that joystick comes from the aviation parlance and was originally ribald sexual innuendo (those flyboys did need to blow off steam), with the “George Stick” explanation being invented after the fact to come up with a plausible clean etymology.


Plausible. What’s definitely true is that the George association has zero support from any reputable published source, and is just speculation.


My uncle always calls my cousin “fuckstick”. I wonder where it originated?

HotDogFingies avatar

That's a good one. Ass clown is also good.

@SturgiesYrFase@lemmy.ml avatar

I’m partial to douche-canoe


I always thought video games got the term from pilots, and pilots got the term from the control stick’s resemblance to an erect penis.


It’s company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a joystick… always use the indefinite article ‘a’ joystick was found in your luggage. Never your joystick

WarmSoda, (edited )

I am Jack’s joystick. I erect Jack.

@ada@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Well, this makes me feel old…

I remember when they were called joysticks, because they were computer versions of the things pilots use.

livus avatar

@ada me too, this made me feel super old as well.

One day are people going to think mice were named after mice?


……what were they named after?

livus avatar

I was just referring to how mice were named after mice not the other way round.


I always assumed it was “joy” because games are fun, And it’s a stick design for playing video games so Joy. Stick. Joystick. But I’ve apparently assumed wrongly.

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