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I believe the term "jizz" is an adaptation of a military expression,  "gis" 
(for general impression shape) used as part of a standard procedure to 
identify planes during World War II. However, the German word "gestalt" has 
the same meaning, and I have heard birders use it in place of "jizz"  (and 
have used it myself) quite a few times.

I was, briefly, a volunteer airplane spotter in Westhampton Beach, L.I., 
N.Y. a few years after the war. (For some reason that I now forget, it was 
deemed important and patriotic to keep track of air traffic in that area, 
and some of us took turns climbing into a tower on top of a school building 
and noting all airplanes that came by.) Identifying an airplane is something 
like identifying a bird in flight. You start out asking yourself about its 
general impression and shape -- i.e. how big? what overall shape? how many 
engines? etc. You then narrow it down to species using more specific field 
marks.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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