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"Squid" has been around since the dawn of time (slight hyperbole!). It's a reference to the lack of grace in the way the animal moves: it jets, stops, jets, stops...

:)
 

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ronlarimer said:
Squirrelly Kid
+1

a while ago i read some article on the history of "motorcycle mystery" and they said it was from "SQUirrelly kID."
 

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But it fits for other reasons too. I like the one about how a squid can go really fast in a straight line, but has to come to nearly a complete stop in order to turn, only to go really fast in a straight line again.
 

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It comes from how fitting of a name it is for them. By definition, a squid is a "Widely distributed fast-moving ten-armed cephalopod mollusk having a long tapered body with triangular tail fins"

They are fast moving during a jet of water out then stop. They lack the ability to turn well when under such jetting. Furthermore, they have a reather small scale of intelligence.

Seems well fit to me...
 

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Rosier said:
All of the acronyms and definitions for 'squid' you will hear were created to fit the term long after it was already in use.* No one really knows where it came from.

When I used to read Usenet motorcycle groups 7 or 8 years ago this question would come up all of the time. I rember one thread lead to some very in-depth discussions and research but nothing close to a source was found. Most of the acronyms and stuff were traced back to the '80s but there were people who had heard the term decades earlier before these "definitions" were made up.
+1

The term was commonly in use in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid 1970s, but I've heard that its origins can be traced to the U.S. Navy in WWII. A squid was a new seaman with lots of attitude but no skills to back it with, IIRC.

Bill

* emphasis added by me
 

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I understand the origins in biking came from the only 2 stroke bikes that used to squirt black smoke like a squid as they darted away in the canyons
 

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when i first asked that a long time ago somebody told me something like
"they're called squids because when they hit the pavement they turn into sushi?"

haha anybody remember telling me that?
 

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novakane said:
when i first asked that a long time ago somebody told me something like
"they're called squids because when they hit the pavement they turn into sushi?"

haha anybody remember telling me that?
I like that one!
 

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Rosier said:
I knew that 'squid' as slang for a sailor pre-dated it's motorcyclist usage but I was suprised to learn that some people remember it being used for motorcylists all the way back to possibly the 50's. Later I read an article about how many biker gangs had been started by WWII Vets and I just put 2 and 2 together.
On the way home from the Moto GP we drove through Hollister. I tried to explain the whole "Wild One" thing to my wife, who, as usual, just smiled and nodded. If you'd just spent the last few years as a member of a bomber crew or storming beaches in the South Pacific, I'd imagine that motorcyling would have been about the only thing that wasn't boring in the postwar period...



Bill
 

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Psst manuel it's 2007 bro, 2007.
 
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