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--Connel MacKenzie 23:26, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

It's common Irish slang, and it's not new either.

I'm tellin' you the scholar, Bentham, made a banjax o' th' Will.
Juno and the Paycock. 1922. Sean O'Casey.

Then it got banjaxed, at a supper party to which he brought me.
Night: A Novel. Edna O'Brien 2001
--Dmol 09:33, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

It is rather hard to guess that it is limited to Ireland, when it is not labelled as such. --Connel MacKenzie 11:46, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I think it's principally used in Ireland, but certainly known in GB. --Enginear 21:07, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I did not say it was ONLY used in Ireland, just that it is common here. Nor would I claim that it was limited to Ireland else unless I was sure, but it is difficult to prove non-usage rather than usage. There is considerable osmosis of words and terms across the Irish Sea in both directions. That said, I believe it originated in Ireland, but not old Irish as it was tagged. There is no X in the Irish alphabet, but of course it could have some other syllable making a similar sound. (PS The etymology on one site stating that it means ladies' toilet is a joke playing on ban (woman) and jacks (slang – toilet) --Dmol 20:00, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't contradicting you, merely adding information. I've now checked OED, which lists it as Anglo-Irish slang, possibly originating in Dublin. It has cites from 1939 onwards, mainly Irish but including one London and one New York paper. It reminded me that I almost certainly heard it first from Terry Wogan, a London-based Irish broadcaster. --Enginear 13:50, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
OK then, my question remains, is this supposed to be labelled {{cattag|Irish|British}} or {{cattag|Irish}} or something else entirely? Indicating where the term is primarily used does not prevent it from being used elsewhere, but gives people an idea of the context! --Connel MacKenzie 08:06, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Relisting in January, to address the above concerns. --Connel MacKenzie 17:13, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

It also appeared in the feature film Love, Actually (2002); Liam Neeson's character says "Well...basically you're banjaxed, aren't you?" A new word to this American, but I found it here. 19:38, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

RFVpassed. Labelled {{context|primarily Irish}} (feel free to change). — Beobach972 16:04, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


I have removed the following etymology as dubious, but will list it here for discussion.

In northern parts of Kerry, a county in the south west of Ireland, the short 'u' sound is pronounced as a long 'a'. A tool widely used in this and neighbouring regions from the mid 19th to the early 20th Century was the 'punch axe', so called because the end of the shaft opposite to the blade had a grip similar to the kind found on a shovel or spade. This allowed the owner of the punch axe to cut horizontally from a standing position with greater effectivity than with a standard axe. The punch axe was, however, extremely dangerous when so used, and well-known for the veritable catalogue of gruesome incidents occurring when axes were separated from any inattentive user's grasp. As mentioned already, they ceased to be used widely almost a century ago. Anything heavily battered, split deeply, cut, or broken beyond repair was thus described in certain corners of North Kerry as "punch-axed", or to give it its local pronunciation "paaaaanch-axed". From here it was a short hop from "p" to "b", and to the adoption of banjax as a verb in Hiberno-English.

I looked and can't find anything on Google for "punch axe" other than martial arts websites.--Dmol 21:57, 17 December 2010 (UTC)