Apparently a variant of jism.
jasm (plural jasms)
- (archaic, US, slang) Zest for accomplishment; drive.
- Jeremy has the kind of jasm a junior exec needs to reach the top of the ladder in the corporate world.
- (archaic) Jazz.
- 1863, Josiah Gilbert Holland, Miss Gilbert's Career: An American Story, page 350, Charles Scribner's Sons
- “Yes, sir. No mistake about that. Oh! she's just as full of jasm!”
- Frank Sargent laughed again. “You've got the start of me,” said he. “Now tell me what ‘jasm’ is.”
- “Well, it’s a sort of word, I guess, that made itself,” said Cheek. “It’s a good one though—jasm is. If you’ll take thunder and lightning, and a steamboat and a buzz-saw, and mix ’em up, and put ’em into a woman, that’s jasm.”
- 2004 June 30, Elizabeth Cooper, Drusilla with a Million, page 197, Kessinger Publishing
- I don’t think there is anything more pitiful than a man, who has been in business for himself, to have to give up and say he is a failure. It hurts to be compelled to go into some one’s shop as a clerk or a mechanic when you’ve once been your own master. It’ll put jasm into a lot of men that have lost their nerve and only need some one to set them straight.
- 1951, Mathews’ Dictionary of Americanisms
- 1997, Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Random House