PANAMA TOUCHES ON A VERY TOUCHY SUBJECT
“Joystick”. Nobody knows quite where the term comes form, or if they do, they certainly aren't revealing it.
Not Google. Not Wiki.
Here's what Wikipedia says:
Joysticks originated as controls for aircraft ailerons and elevators, and is first known to have been used as such on Louis Bleriot's Bleriot VIII aircraft of 1908, in combination with a foot-operated rudder bar for the yaw control surface on the tail.
Then it goes on to say that the term may have originated with some gent named George Somethingorother, who referred to it as the “Georgestick”, and over time this became “joystick”.
I don't think so.
I speculate that given the advent of the airplane and therefore the joystick having occurred at the turn of the century, and the positioning of the joystick being between the pilot's legs, that the origin is quite obvious. Probably everybody at Wiki knows this, too, as you don't have to be an etiologist to figure it out.
So am I saying that in the early airplanes the term “joystick” was a not-so-oblique reference to the erect human penis? Yes. I am. You bet your sweet bippy I am.
I mean I can imagine Monsieur Bleriot discussing what to call the control mechanism for aircraft control. “I know!” says Monsieur Bleriot. “Let's call it a joystick.” Except he says it in French. And he chortles endlessly. Also in French.
That's what I think.