The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138935 Message #3222214
Posted By: Mick Pearce (MCP)
12-Sep-11 - 07:15 PM
Thread Name: Kipling with the Tradition
Subject: RE: Kipling with the Tradition
Further to that, Partridge Dict of Historical Slang says it was perhaps influenced by whim-wham (=female pudend, same source). OED says possible related to fanciful reduplication with altered vowels like flim-flam and whim-wham, but says the source is unsure.
Partridge also says that it was usually reduced to the jams, not the jims! Perhaps both were used or Kipling was taking a liberty for the sake of rhyme with crimson.
It seems to me unlikely that it referred to jimson weed (which I always think of as a US term - see Jamestown-weed as OED says - Jamestown, VA), but I could easily be wrong - the name had been around for a long time by then.
(Previously is meant a knick-knack).