The usage of the word "groove"

5

The first meaning is the narrow track where the stylus runs on records.

We often use the word groove to qualify the rythm, when it sounds right and feels good on jazz, funk, reggae music etc. Is it known when it starts to spread as the second meaning?

Bebs

Posted 2016-11-29T10:27:57.003

Reputation: 7 534

2

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a question about language and is more appropriate for http://english.stackexchange.com/ .

– BCdotWEB – 2016-11-29T11:05:48.730

1I think it is related to music history, but I kind of doubt that you can exactly pinpoint when this happened as I garuntee it was informal description for a while before it became common. – Dom – 2016-11-30T15:31:19.123

3It's insane that this is close-voted, IMO. – None – 2016-12-03T11:08:11.210

Answers

5

From the Online Etymology Dictionary it starts to take a figurative sense of "routine" in 1842.

Then we have:

  • jazz slang in the groove: "performing well (without grandstanding) in 1932
  • american slang groovy: "first-rate, excellent" in 1937
  • teen slang groovey: "wonderful" in 1941

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz by Barry Kernfeld states:

Within jazz circles, Gold identifies the phrase "in the groove" – which from around 1936 to 1945 (i.e., during the height of the swing era) was in widespread use in referring to jazz performances which were "excellent" or, by extension, "sophisticated" – and the term "groove" – referring in the 1940s and 1950s to "routine, preference, style, source of pleasure".

( . . . )

[groove] tends to operate with reference to styles from the latter third of the twentieth century which utilize characteristic accompanimental ostinatos drawn from African-derived dance music, whether African-American (e.g., soul, funk, disco, rap, hip-hop), Afro-Cuban dance music (e.g., salsa), or Afro-Brazilian (samba), or some other such fusion.

Bebs

Posted 2016-11-29T10:27:57.003

Reputation: 7 534