Was the Gemini Space Program pronounced like "Jiminy"?

I was just watching an episode of Mysteries At The Monument, and they talked about Gemini 8’s emergency malfunction.

Throughout the entire segment, the announcer kept pronouncing “Gemini” like you would say “Jiminy Cricket” - like GEM-in-eee.

Is this the way everybody pronounced “Gemini 8” back then? I’ve always pronounced that word GEM-in-eye, like they do here, and I’ve never heard anyone pronounce it the other way.

Aside: I’ve always wondered if the actors on that show don’t have their SAG cards because they never say anything - like the producers can use anyone.

A few people would say something like ‘gem-in-eee’ on occasion. I can see that some regional accents make it sound that way.

Those actors are considered “featured extras” and can thus be payed at a much much lower rate than anyone with lines (aka day players). Whether or not they are union, I’m not entirely sure. They probably do have to hire at least a few union.

Listen to this contemporary NASA documentary about Gemini 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb4tTfFraxs

The pronunciation is accurate.

Swearing by the Gemini was a mild oath back in classical Roman days.* They were the equivalent of euphemisms, like saying “Darn” instead of “damn”, and were thought of as curses used by women.
There is speculation that the similarly mild expression “Jiminy” is really a corruption of “Gemini” (Not that the use of the older sayings survived 19 centuries. If this is true, I suspect it’s a use that trickled down from Classics professors and the like reviving the practice).

Furthermore, the form “Jiminy Cricket(s)”, which long predates Disney’s Pinocchio (look it up on Google Ngram), is probably a transformation that makes the expression a euphemism for “Jesus Christ”, along the lines of “Judas Priest” or “Cheese on Rice” or “(Great) Ceasar’s Ghost”, only in this case it’s not an example of assonance, it’s the initials – J.C.
Carlo Collodi didn’t name his Cricket in his book “Pinocchio” – it’s just “Cricket”. But Disney and many of his animators were good ol’ Midwestern boys, and were probably very familiar with the euphemistic “Jiminy Cricket” (They even put the phrase in the mouth of Michael in Peter Pan. He was a London boy, who probably wouldn’t be familiar with the phrase. But it recalled the earlier Disney film, so I’;ll bet they found its use irresistable.), so they decided to name the Cricket Jiminy. If they knew or thought about it, Pinocchio having a conscience with the initials “J.C.” would’ve seemed appropriate.
The bottom line is – if the Houston controllers were pronouncing “Gemini” as “Jiminy”, it’s not altogether inappropriate. There’s a connection there.

*The actual oaths were “Ecastor” (“Ex Caster” = “From Castor”) and “Edepol” (“Ex Pollux”). Castor and Pollux were the Roman names for the Gemini, Kastor and Polydeukos in the original Greek. You can find references to this in a lot of books about Roman culture. And Colleen McCullough used them in the books of her “Masters of Rome” series.

I only recall the spacecraft being pronounced GEM-in-eye. That’s also how my astrologer aunt pronounced the word.

The “Jiminy” pronunciation was used in the film “Apollo 13” as well, by an actor (Kevin Bacon) who is from Philadelphia and had lived in Los Angeles for many years and so was certainly coached to say the word that way. You have to think they told him to say it that way for a reason.

I think it was a regional accent. As for Kevin Bacon, I suspect there were enough recordings of Jack Swigert saying “Giminee” they told Kevin to say it that way.

I guess for the ultimate correct pronunciation, you’d have to find a recording/clip of Walter Cronkite saying the word. If it was good enough for Uncle Walter, it’s good enough for me.

Is there any recording of Gus Grissom saying Gemini? Bryan Cranston has a cameo on “That Thing You Do” playing Gus on a talk show, and he says it’s pronounced “Jiminy.” The movie plays it off as a joke.

The only pronunciation that really counted was how Walter Cronkite pronounced it.

Amazingly, he said gem-in-ee. So, for that matter, did Mission Control.

Andthey weren’t alone!

In fact, it seems to bea vast conspiracy by NASA and the mainstream media.:eek::eek::eek:

Neil Armstrong (at least I think that’s Neil Armstrong) pronounced it Gemi-nigh:

On the other hand, the flight controller for the same mission (Gemini 8) pronounced it Gemi-knee:

It wouldn’t be the first time something space-based had two pronunciations; I have heard quite a few people pronounce NASA “Nassau” (as in “the Bahamas”).

Wow - so it would seem that the announcer was correct and it’s indeed “GEM-in-eee.” Thanks guys!

Now we can work on the correct way to pronounce Uranus.

Both pronunciations are used in The Fifth Element with regard to the “Gemini Croquettes” contest in which Bruce Willis ostensibly wins tickets to Floston Paradise.

The YouTube Vintage Space cutey addresses it (quickly) just saying that because NASA referred to it as ‘Jiminy’ right from the beginning that’s the one she uses.

‘Jiminy’ was Pinocchio’s gay cartoon bug friend, so I feel like an idiot calling an entire space program that. For me it’s always ‘Gem-in-eye’…

For some reason, the US Government seems to love pronunciations that grate on my last nerve. In addition to “jimminy”, the other one that drives me to distraction is “nuculer.”

There’s an episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy is obsessed with horoscopes. Ricky’s sign is Gemini and she repeatedly pronounces it gem-in-ee.

Whenever I have seen interviews with veterans of the Gemini program, they pronounced it “Jemminy” not “Gem ‘n’ Eye.” I figured that was the pronunciation used within the program, for the program. When referring to the constellation, I personally tend to say it the other way.

There is the correct way, and there is the politically correct way.

I much prefer the fun one.