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When asking for an ID

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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shadowdog
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What does GISS stand for?

Unread postby shadowdog » Fri May 15, 2009 7:23 pm

I hate to be the village idiot, :redface: :doh: but what does "GISS" stand for?
For all your hard work on the answers ...giving the extra information: :clap:
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Imax
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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Imax » Fri May 15, 2009 8:24 pm

Sorry its a fairly well used birding term. It comes from the 2nd World War where pilots used it to ID and report enemy planes - so today we use it in a similar way. It stands for General Impression, Shape and Size.

Of course we as birders in our first impression add things like beak shape, colour etc, but GISS sums all that up.

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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Alf King » Sat May 16, 2009 1:15 pm

Imax wrote:
shadowdog wrote:Thanks, Imax, for the challenge. It was a good one. :D I hate to be the village idiot, :redface: :doh: but what does "GISS" stand for?
For all your hard work on the answers ...giving the extra information: :clap:


Sorry its a fairly well used birding term. It comes from the 2nd World War where pilots used it to ID and report enemy planes - so today we use it in a similar way. It stands for General Impression, Shape and Size.

Of course we as birders in our first impression add things like beak shape, colour etc, but GISS sums all that up.



This could be the start of a whole new thread IMAX but you have fallen for a common misconception. The expression is actually "jizz" (unfortunately used in an unpleasant sense as well) and its derivation has been the subject of almost endless debate in the UK and beyond. It was known to be used in Ireland by fishermen in the 19th century and, it is claimed, in the Western Isles of Scotland.

Etymologists have a field day with this word. :)
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Johann
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GISS....??

Unread postby Johann » Mon May 18, 2009 7:31 am

So what would jizz mean then as GISS as Imax pointed out is the acronym for General Impression Shape & Size? That is the way we use it here in SA.

As far as I know and understand from sources on the net jizz is the slang term for GISS, evolved in that way because our pronounciation of GISS. Either way is fine, I think the sources in SA just prefer to get away from using jizz because of its other definitions.
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Niall
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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Niall » Mon May 18, 2009 9:12 am

From the Birding dictionary:

"Jizz: The overall impression which a bird gives an observer, enabling an experienced birdwatcher at least to suspect its identity, even if plumage details and other diagnostic features cannot be seen. Jizz consists of a combination of colour, size, shape and movement. The word was invented by the Cheshire ornithologist T. A. Coward."

Wikipedia's comments: "The origin of the word is a mystery. The theory that the word is derived from the WWII airforce acronym GISS for "General Impression of Size and Shape (of an aircraft)" is chronologically impossible since the birding term was first recorded in 1920"

And I was also under the impression it was derived from GISS!!

You learn a little something every day!

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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Moegaai » Mon May 18, 2009 11:32 am

Thanks Niall for a very interesting read! We officially have a "chicken or egg" scenario here... Luckily both terms sound the same, and fundamentally really have the same underlying meaning.

Whatever the origin, or which one you refer to when using the term, I think Shadowdog's question has been well and truly answered!!! :twisted:

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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Johann » Mon May 18, 2009 1:00 pm

Moegaai wrote:Thanks Niall for a very interesting read! We officially have a "chicken or egg" scenario here... Luckily both terms sound the same, and fundamentally really have the same underlying meaning.


Yip, it just depends on which source you're looking at.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Imax » Mon May 18, 2009 3:22 pm

Thanks all for the explanation.

Personally I think I will stick with GISS :wink:

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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Alf King » Mon May 18, 2009 3:39 pm

Imax wrote:Thanks all for the explanation.

Personally I think I will stick with GISS :wink:



OK, just as long as you pronounce if jiz - i.e. soft g rather than hard g - otherwise you would thoroughly confuse NH birders.

:wink:
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Imax
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Re: Bird ID Challenge for those who aren't afraid anymore.

Unread postby Imax » Mon May 18, 2009 6:02 pm

Fo' sure Alf, else I will confuse SH birders too, they will wonder who this Gus guy is that i keep mentioning. But i will spell it GISS

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Re: When asking for an ID

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:53 am

will try :thumbs_up:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: When asking for an ID

Unread postby forestgump » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:53 am

Maybe you guys can help me.
I saw a little brown bird hopping in a tree, in KNP ?
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Re: When asking for an ID

Unread postby MichaelWildtuin » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:00 pm

forestgump wrote:Maybe you guys can help me.
I saw a little brown bird hopping in a tree, in KNP ?


you forgot a very important point: Was it alone or not? :twisted:

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Re: When asking for an ID

Unread postby sinewave » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:08 pm

MichaelWildtuin wrote:Was it alone or not?


I don't think that's important!
However - "hopping in a tree" - apparently a one legged little brown fellow??

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Re: When asking for an ID

Unread postby bishop3006 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:59 pm

sinewave wrote:
MichaelWildtuin wrote:Was it alone or not?


I don't think that's important!


Of course it is. Some of usually found alone, and some seldom. Can sometimes be the only discerning clue between two very closely related species.
Marius
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