The Alternative English Dictionary

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Colourful extracts from Wiktionary. Slang, vulgarities, profanities, slurs, interjections, colloquialisms and more.


Jayoncé etymology {{blend}}. {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (slang) The couple consisting of celebrities of Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
    • 2007, "V Mix: Searchin' For A Real Love", Vibe, March 2007, page 139: There are power couples like Jayoncé, Russell and Kimora, Will and Jada.
    • 2008, "V Mix: Diamond, Duets–And Denial", Vibe, June 2008, page 53: Throughout their six-year, PDA-shy run, Jayoncé refused to confirm (except in verse) what we all knew–the two are crazy in love.
    • 2014, Caitlin Looney, "State of the Union becomes #StateOfAwful", The Columbia Chronicle (Columbia College, Chicago), Volume 49, Issue 17, 3 February 2014, page 35: “Imagine how much Obama's approval rating would skyrocket if he and Michelle came out and reenacted Jayoncé's 'Drunk In Love' performance,” tweeted @jwoodham, {{…}}
    • {{seemoreCites}}
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (informal, eye dialect, Irish) Jesus
jazz {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: jaz, jas, jass, jasz (all dated, used from about 1912 to about 1918) etymology unknown. First attested around 1912 in a discussion of baseball; attested in reference to music around 1915. Numerous references suggest that the term may be connected to jasm and jism.''The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English'' (2014, ISBN 1317625110) says that most authorities derive it from {{m|en|jasm}}, a variant of {{m|en|jism}}. ''Partridge'' also says it was first recorded in reference to music in a 1917 Chicago ''Tribune'' advertisement for "Bert Kelly's Jaz {{sic}} Band", having previously been used in baseball. pronunciation
  • /ˈd͡ʒæz/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (music) A musical art form rooted in West African cultural and musical expression and in the African American blues tradition, with diverse influences over time, commonly characterized by blue note, syncopation, swing, call and response, polyrhythm and improvisation.
  2. Energy, excitement, excitability. Very lively.
  3. The (in)tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a thing. What jazz were you referring to earlier? What is all this jazz lying around?
  4. Unspecified thing(s). I'm just going down to the shops and jazz = I am off to purchase items and etcetera.
  5. (with positive terms) Of excellent quality, the genuine article. That show was the jazz! = That musical concert/television program was most enjoyable. This risotto is simply the jazz. = This risotto was cooked in the classic manner.
  6. Nonsense. Stop talking jazz.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To play jazz music.
  2. To dance to the tunes of jazz music.
  3. To enliven, brighten up, make more colourful or exciting; excite
  4. To complicate. Don’t jazz it too much! = Be careful, it was good to start with!
  5. (intransitive, US slang, dated) To have sex for money, to prostitute oneself.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Vintage 1993, page 59: ‘Jazzing?’ Temple whispered [...]. ‘Yes, putty-face!’ the woman said. ‘How do you suppose I paid that lawyer?’
  6. To destroy. You’ve gone and jazzed it now! = It is ruined.
  7. To distract/pester. Stop jazzing me! = Leave me alone.
related terms:
  • acid jazz
  • jazzbo
  • jazzer
  • jazz up
  • jazzy
jazz band Alternative forms: jazzband
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (music) A musical band that plays jazz music.
  2. (Northern England) A children's marching band, often using kazoo.
jazzbo etymology {{rfe}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A jazz musician.
jazzhead etymology jazz + head
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A jazz music enthusiast.
    • {{quote-news}}
jazz mag
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, British, chiefly, Northeast England) A pornographic magazine.
jazznik etymology From jazz (music) + cutesy or ironic use of the suffix -nik (Russian: -ник 〈-nik〉). This suffix experienced a surge in English coinages for nicknames and diminutives after the 1957 Russian launch of the spacecraft. Compare beatnik.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, dated) An enthusiast of jazz music.
acronym: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. (computing, humorous) Just a Bunch Of Disks. A collection of hard disk that aren't configured according to RAID.
  2. (computing) A hard disk enclosure for several disks, especially one lacking a RAID controller.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (slang, nonstandard) variant of yeah; yes.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang, nonstandard) variant of yeah; yes.
Jeames etymology Corruption of James.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, dated) A footman; a flunky. {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
jeans etymology Originally a shortened form of jean fustian (from Middle English Gene + fustian. The -s was added to jean under influence from the cognate Old French Jannes (modern French Gênes). pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /dʒiːnz/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. (pluralonly) A pair of trousers made from denim cotton.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleTraditionally most jeans are dyed dark blue.
  2. plural of jean
Synonyms: See also
related terms:
  • Genoese, Genovese
  • janes
jects etymology From projects by shortening.
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (US, informal) A multi-story low-income housing development.
Synonyms: projects
Jedi Master etymology The highest of orders in the Jedi Order of the universe, similar to a bishop.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) Respectful term of address for an expert in a particular field.
  • {{seeCites}}
Jedward etymology {{blend}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (UK, Ireland, informal) , an Irish sing duo who achieved fame in in 2009.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (slang, humorous) Jesus.
    • 2005, Pat Flynn, Chantal Stewart, To the Light Not only do we not look alike (thank God), sound alike (thank Buddha), or act alike (thank Allah), we have none of the same friends (thank Jeebus).
    • 2006, Will Self, The Book of Dave He needed no intercom to tell him this: that if it hadn't been Dave who so blighted the world, it would've been some other god — Jeebus or Joey or Ali...
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang, humorous) Jesus.
    • 2006, Liz Ireland, The Pink Ghetto Jeebus, get over it. It wasn't as if I called you the wrong name while we were having sex.
    • 2007, Helen Boyd, She's Not the Man I Married Jeebus, does Helen know this? Yes, she does. It's odd, this life of ours, and I'm terribly aware of my culpability in said oddness.
jeet etymology A compressed pronunciation of the words did you eat. pronunciation
  • /dʒit/
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang) Did you eat?
  • jete
jeez Alternative forms: geez etymology Shortened form of Jesus. A minced oath.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (slang) Exclamation of fright, incredibility, shock, surprise or anger. exampleJeez, that was one helluva week.
  • {{seeCites}}
jefe etymology Borrowed from Spanish jefe
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, informal) An officer with political influence; a head or chief in government, such as a sheriff.
    • 1887, Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Central America, page 153, History Company Antonio Rivera Cabezas was chosen vice-jefe in March 1830.
    • 1898, Southern Pacific Company Passenger Department, Sunset, Sunset Magazines Inc. (1912), pages 313-314 before he stepped forward uttering the stereotyped greeting, the Texan had put him down as the jefe or head man.... Snatching up the rifle he lit out after the jefe, who had left two jumps ahead of the smoke.
    • 1900, United States War Department, Annual Reports of the War Department, U.S. Government Printing Office Hilario Saño, a suspect, resident here but much doubted by the jefe local, was put to the test
  2. (US) A boss in a business, company{{,}} or other organization.
    • 1982 January, George Durham, Taming the Nueces Strip: The Story of McNelly's Rangers, page 120, University of Texas Press “They ain’t going to deliver the cattle across.... They’ve taken too much of a beating as it is. They’ve lost their big jefe and lots of men.”
    • 1998 June, Thomas Miller Klubock, Contested communities: Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile's El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1948, page 147, Duke University Press When they were slacking off in the mine, for example, and a jefe arrived unexpectedly, they shouted loro (parrot) or fuego (fire) as warning signals.
    • 2004 December, Jeffrey Harris Cohen, The Culture of Migration in Southern Mexico, University of Texas Press A jefe in this sense is a mentor, a person who is often a compadre of the migrant.... In any case, a jefe is not a loan shark
    • 2005 May, Monica Rico, EMails that Go Nowhere, Google Mail. A jefe in this sense refers to a true boss, the leader of the household, also known as Jose Rico.
  • {{seeCites}}
jeff etymology 1837.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (printing slang, intransitive) To play or gamble with em quad, throwing them as dice.
Jefferson {{wikipedia}} etymology From Jeffrey + son
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. {{surname}}
  2. (1743-1826); the third President of the United States, principal author of the US (1776), and one of the most influential founders of the United States.
related terms:
  • Jeffers
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, US) A two-dollar bill.
    • And the Angels Sing‎, page 210, J. Madison Davis, 1996, “"Gambling's not my form of masochism," said Carl. "Huh?" "So how much?" "The wad's mostly ones. Some Jeffersons. Two or three Abes."”
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of jeff
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (printing slang) A dice game played with em quads.
Synonyms: quadrats
Jehovah etymology Transliteration of Hebrew יְהֹוָה 〈yĕhòwáh〉, the Masoretic vocalization of the Biblical Hebrew יהוה. The Masoretic vocalization is a so-called qeri perpetuum, the deliberate insertion of the vowels of another word than the one represented by the consonant text, in this case אֲדֹנָי 〈ʼàdònáy〉. Continuing earlier Iehoua. In English, the name is first attested in 1530, in Tyndale's Bible: I appeared vnto Abraham Isaac and Iacob an allmightie God: but in my name Iehouah was I not knowne vnto them (Exodus 6:3). used Iehouah instead of Adonay. The KJV also has JEHOVAH in this verse specifically, while it uses LORD otherwise. Young's Literal Translation (1898) has Jehovah. The New King James Version (1982) has LORD. pronunciation
  • /dʒəˈhoʊvə/
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (religion) The personal name of God in the Hebrew Scriptures; in Hebrew, יהוה (YHVH)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A Jehovah's Witness.
    • I've never had Jehovahs at my door, but the other day two Mormons came to my door.
Jehovah's Witness
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A member of the Christian church Jehovah's Witnesses.
Synonyms: JW, Witness
Jehovist {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /dʒəˈhoʊvɨst/
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. The writer of the passages of the Old Testament, especially those of the Pentateuch, in which the Supreme Being is styled Jehovah. See Elohist.
    • Samuel Davidson The characteristic manner of the Jehovist differs from that of his predecessor [the Elohist]. He is fuller and freer in his descriptions; more reflective in his assignment of motives and causes; more artificial in mode of narration.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. One who maintains that the vowel point of the word Jehovah, in Hebrew, are the proper vowels of that word; opposed to adonist.
  2. (pejorative) A member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
  3. Anyone who uses the word "Jehovah" as the name of God in worship.
  • adonist
jehu etymology From Jehu, son of Nimshi. 2 Kings 9:20
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A coachman; a driver; especially, one who drives furiously.
etymology 1
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A transliteration of the Russian female given name Елена 〈Elena〉.
etymology 2 {{wikipedia}} {{blend}}.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (slang) The couple consisting of celebrities Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.
    • 2012, Brittany Lander, "Bieber BreakUp (Boo-Hoo)", Red & Black (Washington & Jefferson College), Volume 104, Number 11, 29 November 2012, page 17: “Jelena” ended their almost two year relationship just a week ago when, as reports state, Justin wouldn't “be her boyfriend” any more.
    • 2013, Nadia Higgins, Justin Bieber: Pop and R & B Idol, Lerner Publications Company (2013), ISBN 9781467702942, page 26: By fall 2011, “Jelena”—the cosmically cute combo of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez—was official.
    • 2014, "Trending", The Michigan Daily (University of Michigan), 8 January 2014, page 3B: On Jan. 4, Justin Bieber posted a picture — an usie — on Instagram of him and Selena Gomez, captioned “Love the way you look at me.” Only time and paparazzi will tell if Jelena will once again go strong.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
jelly {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: gelly (obsolete) pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈdʒɛl.i/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 Old French gelee, from geler, from Latin gelū.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (New Zealand, Australia, British) A dessert made by boiling gelatine, sugar and some flavouring (often derived from fruit) and allowing it to set.
  2. (North America) A clear or translucent fruit preserve, made from fruit juice and set using either naturally occurring, or added, pectin.
    • 1945, Fannie Merritt Farmer and Wilma Lord Perkins revisor, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Eighth edition: Perfect jelly is of appetizing flavor; beautifully colored and translucent; tender enough to cut easily with a spoon, yet firm enough to hold its shape when turned from the glass.
    • 1975, Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, The Joy of Cooking, 5th revision: Jelly has great clarity. Two cooking processes are involved. First, the juice alone is extracted from the fruit. Only that portion thin and clear enough to drip through a cloth is cooked with sugar until sufficiently firm to hold its shape. It is never stiff and never gummy.
  3. A similar dish made with meat. calf's-foot jelly
  4. (zoology) {{short for}}
  5. (slang, now rare) A pretty girl; a girlfriend.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Vintage 1993, p. 25: ‘Gowan goes to Oxford a lot,’ the boy said. ‘He′s got a jelly there.’
  6. (US, slang) A large backside, especially a woman's.
    • 2001, Destiny's Child, “Bootylicious” (song) I shake my jelly at every chance / When I whip with my hips you slip into a trance
    • 2001, George Dell, Dance Unto the Lord, page 94: At that Sister Samantha seemed to shake her jelly so that she sank back into her chair.
  7. (colloquial) {{short for}}
  8. (colloquial) A jelly shoe.
    • 2006, David L. Marcus, What It Takes to Pull Me Through: Mary Alice gazed at a picture of herself wearing jellies and an oversized turquoise T-shirt that matched her eyes …
Synonyms: (dessert made by boiling gelatin) (US) jello, Jell-O, (fruit preserve) jam, marmalade
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To wiggle like jelly.
  2. To make jelly.
etymology 2 From jealous by shortening.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Jealous.
jellybelly Alternative forms: jelly belly
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A fat person.
jellycopter etymology {{blend}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈdʒɛ.liˌkɒp.tə(ɹ)/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (usually, humorous, sometimes, childish) a helicopter
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • {{quote-book }}
  • Although normally humorous, it is sometimes used in a derogatory manner
jellyroll Alternative forms: jelly roll
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) A cylindrical cake containing jelly (jam), often called a Swiss roll.
  2. (derogatory, slang) an overweight person.
  3. (by extension, US slang) The female genitalia, sexual intercourse, or a lover.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, slang, archaic) spruceness {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
jemmy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic, British, slang) A baked sheep's head.
  2. (Australia, slang) An immigrant.
  3. (obsolete, slang) A greatcoat.
    • Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers: your friend in the green jemmy
  4. alternative spelling of jimmy crowbar.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To shoehorn, to cram. two thousand people jemmied into a stadium built for fifteen hundred
  2. alternative spelling of jimmy open with a crowbar.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (archaic) Of spruce.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. {{surname}} derived from the given name Jenkin; common in England and Wales.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory, dated, colloquial) A flatterer or sycophant. the Jenkins employed by a newspaper {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
Jenny Alternative forms: Jennie pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A diminutive of the female given names Jane and Jennifer, also used as a formal given name.
    • 1837 , Jenny Kissed Me, Jenny kissed me when we met, Jumping from the chair she sat in; Time, you thief, who love to get Sweets into your list, put that in! Say I'm weary, say I'm sad, Say that health and wealth have missed me, Say I'm growing old, but add, Jenny kissed me.
    • 1840 , Poor Jack, Chapter IV, All this I recollect, but little more, except my mother gave me several beatings for calling my sister "Jenny", which I had learnt to do from others who knew her; but when my mother heard them, she was always very angry, and told them that her child had not such a vulgar name; at which many would laugh, and make a point of calling out "Jenny" to Virginia whenever they passed and saw her at the door.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (UK, informal) A Wren (a member of the WRNS)
Jericho {{wikipedia}} etymology From Hebrew יריחו 〈yryẖw〉. Regarding the "place of concealment" sense, see 2 Samuel 10:5.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A place of retirement or concealment.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. An ancient town in the West Bank.
  2. A surname.
jerk pronunciation
  • (UK) /dʒɜːk/
  • (US) /dʒɝk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Probably from Middle English yerk, from Old English ġearc. Compare Old English ġearcian. Related to yare. Alternative forms: yark
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sudden, often uncontrolled movement, especially of the body.
    • 1856, Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Part III Chapter X, translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling The black cloth bestrewn with white beads blew up from time to time, laying bare the coffin. The tired bearers walked more slowly, and it advanced with constant jerks, like a boat that pitches with every wave.
  2. A quick, often unpleasant tug or shake. When I yell "OK," give the mooring line a good jerk!
  3. (US, slang, pejorative) A dull or stupid person.
  4. (US, slang, pejorative) A person with unlikable or obnoxious qualities and behavior, typically mean, self-centered{{,}} or disagreeable. I finally fired him, because he was being a real jerk to his customers, even to some of the staff. You really are a jerk sometimes.
  5. (physics, engineering) The rate of change in acceleration with respect to time.
  6. (obsolete) A soda jerk.
  7. (weightlifting) A lift in which the weight is taken with a quick motion from shoulder height to a position above the head with arms fully extended and held there for a brief time.
  • Jerk is measured in metre per second cube (m/s3) in SI units, or in feet per second cubed (ft/s3) in imperial units.
Synonyms: (sudden movement) jolt, lurch, jump, (quick tug) yank, (stupid person) numbskull, (unlikable person) asshole, bastard, twat, knobhead, tosser, wanker, git, dick., (physics, change in acceleration) jolt (British), surge, lurch
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To make a sudden uncontrolled movement.
    • 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty Chapter 23 York came to me first, whilst the groom stood at Ginger's head. He drew my head back and fixed the rein so tight that it was almost intolerable; then he went to Ginger, who was impatiently jerking her head up and down against the bit, as was her way now.
  2. (transitive) To give a quick, often unpleasant tug or shake.
  3. (US, slang, vulgar) To masturbate.
  4. (obsolete) To beat, to hit. {{rfquotek}}
  5. (obsolete) To throw with a quick and suddenly arrested motion of the hand. to jerk a stone
  6. (usually, transitive, weightlifting) To lift using a jerk.
  7. (obsolete) To flout with contempt.
etymology 2 From American Spanish charquear, from charqui, from Quechua ch'arki.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Caribbean) A rich, spicy Jamaican marinade
  2. (Caribbean) Meat cured by jerking; charqui. Jerk chicken is a local favorite.
related terms:
  • jerky (noun)
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To cure (meat) by cutting it into strips and drying it, originally in the sun.
    • 2011, Dominic Smith, Bright and Distant Shores, page 106: The Lemakot in the north strangled widows and threw them into the cremation pyres of their dead husbands. If they defeated potential invaders the New Irish hanged the vanquished from banyan trees, flensed their windpipes, removed their heads, left their intestines to jerk in the sun.
jerkass etymology jerk + ass Alternative forms: jerk ass, jerk-ass
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) An obnoxious or unlikeable person; a jerk.
jerkdar etymology jerk + dar
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) The ability to detect whether or not a person is a jerk.
    • 2001, 7 December, Big J [username], Re: David Spade dating 6ft. Caprice,!original/alt.gossip.celebrities/8eZ3BuJkAlg/1XgOXDcA5mEJ, alt.gossip.celebrities, “Yeah, he's blipped mine, too. But he's beating the hell out of my Dorkdar® and Jerkdar® so much that I can't get an accurate reading from the Gaydar® -- it's such a *sensitive* instrument, you know.”
    • 2005, Angela Thompson, Where the Heck Is That Place Called Hope?, (2005), ISBN 9781430314325, page 68: I'm not a big fan of jerks, so it is good they are so easy to identify and to avoid. Your newfound “jerkdar” could be interpreted as a silver lining.
    • 2006, Debra Webb, Never Happened, Harlequin (2006), ISBN 9780373880997, page 90: Knew it all too well from a couple of jerks she'd dated before her jerkdar had kicked in fully at age twenty.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, vulgar, pejorative) An obnoxious or unlikeable person; a jerk. 1995, The Simpsons, Two Dozen and One Greyhounds. Bart Simpson: "Hey jerkface! You have the face of a jerk!"
jerkish etymology jerk + ish
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Like a jerk (obnoxious person).
    • 2007, Jane Mason, Sarah Hines Stephens, Girls Vs. Boys (page 67) Zoey laughed at Logan's jerkish behavior, then stepped closer to the older blond guy.
jerkitude etymology en + jerk + -itude
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The property of being a jerk.
jerkoff etymology From the verb jerk off.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, vulgar) A mean, nasty or obnoxious person.
  2. (vulgar, rare) One who masturbates.
jerk off
verb: {{en-verb}} {{tcx}}
  1. (dated) Used other than as an idiom: jerk, off
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
  2. (idiomatic, slang) To masturbate, usually a male.
    • {{quote-book }}
  3. (intransitive, vulgar) To do nothing; to waste time. Stop jerking off. We've got a deadline.
  4. (transitive, vulgar) To deceive. He was jerking us all off about how advanced the project was.
Synonyms: See also
related terms:
  • jack off
  • jerk
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar, slang, US) an annoying person.
jerk-off etymology from jerk off
noun: {{en-noun}} alternative spelling of jerkoff
  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) Someone who behaves rudely or inappropriately, or is ignorant of certain social norms, usually a male.
    • {{quote-book }}
  2. (idiomatic, vulgar) Someone who masturbate, usually a male.
    • {{quote-journal }}
jerk the gherkin
verb: {{head}}
  1. (slang, vulgar) To masturbate.
jerkwad etymology jerk + wad
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory, North America) A jerk; an obnoxious person.
    • 2001, , Murder One, Ballantine, ISBN 0-345-42815-3, p. 110: And frankly, jerkwad, you're not worthy to lick the dirt off his briefcase.
    • 2001, , The Smallest Color, Counterpoint, 2003 pbk ed., ISBN 1-5824-3252-X, p. 222: Hidge said, "Someone with a license, jerkwad."
    • 2003, , "Confidentials", December 16, p. 23: You're not crazy, just extremely annoying. Go soak your head, jerkwad.
jerkwater pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈdʒɚk.wɑ.tɚ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, historical) A train on a branch line.
    • 1975, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 71, no. 1 (Mar. 1975), page 355 […] by bailing from near streams with buckets, (the brake-man called this operation jerking water) and from this the road gets its name of jerkwater road.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, colloquial, pejorative) Of an inhabited place, small, insignificant, and backward.
Synonyms: See:
related terms:
  • jerk water
  • jerk-water
jerk water
verb: {{head}}
  1. (US, railroads, dated) To fill a steam locomotive water tank manually from natural water supplies.
    • 1954, Mari Sandoz, The Buffalo Hunters: The Story of the Hide Men, page 171 The Santa Fe, called the Jerk Water route because they "jerked" water from ponds and wallows for the engine, still frayed out at the Kansas line.
    • 1975, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 71, no. 1 (Mar. 1975), page 355 […] by bailing from near streams with buckets, (the brake-man called this operation jerking water) and from this the road gets its name of jerkwater road.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, colloquial, pejorative) Of inhabited places, small, insignificant, isolated, backwards
    • c. 1920, Ring Lardner, The Real Dope But any way from the number of jerk water burgs we went through you would think we was on the Monon and the towns all looks so much like the other that […].
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (railroads, pejorative) A branch line train, using light equipment
    • 1918, Charmian London, Jack London and Hawaii, page 19 The mail was brought by a tiny "jerk-water" bobtail dummy and coach run by one, Tony, from Pearl City, a mile away, to a station near the end of the peninsula.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, colloquial, pejorative) Of an inhabited place, small, isolated, backward.
    • 1907, Charles Stelzle, Christianity's Storm Centre: A Study of the Modern City, page 103 That seems to disappoint them, for every sociologist likes to go back to some jerk-water college and tell those who are in the sociological class how they had to get their information by pantomime."
  2. (US, colloquial, pejorative, railroads) Railroads with low traffic.
    • 1915, Daniel Jacob Hauer, The Economics of Contracting: A Treatise for Contractors, Engineers […], vol. II, page 212 He had risen to the head of the greatest street car system in the world from the position of brakeman on a jerk-water railroad.
    • 1922, Edward Hungerford, Our Railroads To-morrow, page 297 Can the keen-minded Mr. Willard at Baltimore be more anxious than the keen-minded Mr. Rea at Philadelphia to undertake the management of jerk-water branches in Connecticut or in Rhode Island or down on Cape Cod ?
Synonyms: See:
related terms:
  • jerk water
  • jerkwater
Jerry pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Diminutive of Jeremy, Jerome, Gerald, Jerrold, Gerard, and related names.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A nickname for Jeremiah, Jeremy, Jerrold, Gerald, Gerard, and similar male names; also used as a formal male given name.
  2. A diminutive of the female given names Geraldine and Jerilyn.
  3. An old nickname for a chamber pot (also referred to as a potty) (Dated UK)
  • 1970 Santha Rama Rau: The Adventuress. Harper&Row. page 157: - - - I, incidentally, am Jeremy Wilson, and anyone who abbreviates that to 'Jerry' does so at unspeakable peril." "Oh really?" Kay asked. "Why?" "Well, just a wartime hangover. We used to call the Germans 'Jerries'." "I don't know much about the German war."
etymology 2 By shortening of German. Originated during the First World War. Alternative forms: jerry, geri, gerri
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (British, US, derogatory, slang, dated) A German.
  • Used during World War II. Usage after World War II served as a reminder that the UK and Germany had been enemies.
Synonyms: Boche, Fritz, Kraut
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. alternative case form of Jerry derogatory: German.
  2. (British, slang) A chamber pot.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (dated) jerry-built
    • 1889, Alfred Thomas Story, A book of vagrom men and vagrant thoughts (page 57) If a man builds a jerry-house, he has a jerry conscience; and there are a lot of consciences of that description going about.
jerrybag etymology From Jerry + bag.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, historical) A woman who consort with the German during the Second World War.
    • 1974, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, p. 263: I said, ‘Raymond and Horace are killed, and my lovely Liza is a jerry-bag.’
    • 2008, Stephen Baxter, Weaver: ‘I saw you smiling at those Jerries. I was in the bloody BEF. We saw girls like you in France. A Jerrybag, are you, is that the story?’
Jersey {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology From xno Gersui, from Old Norse, compound of Geirs and ey.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. The largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel between France and England.
  2. A breed of dairy cattle from Jersey.
  3. (US, informal) New Jersey.
related terms:
  • Jèrriais
Jersey girl
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) A woman, usually from New Jersey, characterised as loud and wearing bright clothing, far too much make-up, big hair and oversized gaudy earrings.
Jersey lightning etymology In reference to .
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, informal) Applejack.
Jerusalem artichoke etymology Italian girasole, mistaken for the word Jerusalem via folk etymology + artichoke.
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. a variety of sunflower, Helianthus tuberosus, native to North America, having yellow flower heads and edible tuber
  2. the tuber of this plant, eaten as a vegetable; the sunchoke
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A pet form of Jane and Jessica, also used as a formal female given name.
  2. A given name, an American variant of Jesse.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, sometimes uncapitalized) A cowardly person, especially a man; an effeminate man.
Jesuitic Alternative forms: Jesuitical etymology Compare French jésuitique.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of or relating to the Jesuit, or to their principle and method.
  2. (derogatory) cunning; deceitful; crafty {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
Jesuitism etymology Compare French jésuitisme.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The principle and practice of the Jesuit.
  2. (derogatory) Cunning; deceit; subtle argument.
{{Webster 1913}}
Jesus etymology From Ancient Greek Ἰησοῦς 〈Iēsoûs〉, from Hebrew יֵשׁוּעַ 〈yéş̌ẇʻa〉. The Greek texts makes no distinction between Jesus and Joshua, referring to them both as Ἰησοῦς 〈Iēsoûs〉. The Latin Vulgate is likely the earliest to make a distinction, referring to Jesus as Iēsus and Joshua as Iosue. pronunciation
  • (Jesus of Nazareth) {{enPR}}, /ˈdʒiːzəs/
  • (Spanish given name) {{enPR}}, /heɪˈsuːs/
proper noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-proper noun}}
  1. Jesus of Nazareth, a man whom Christian consider the son of God and call Jesus Christ in belief that he is the Messiah, and whom Muslims believe to be a prophet.
  2. A given name {{n-g}}.
    • 1971 Ruth Rendell, No More Dying Then, Random House (2009), ISBN 9780099534853, page 195: Frensham opened the door and called a name that sounded like 'Haysus'. Brandy was brought and various other bottles and decanters. When the manservant had gone, Frensham said, 'Odd, aren't they, the Spanish? Calling a boy Jesus.'
  3. A given name {{n-g}} Jesus son of Sirach wrote the "Wisdom of Sirach"
coordinate terms:
  • (religious founder) Muhammad, Buddha, Zoroaster, Rishabha, Baha'ullah, Moses, Raël, Confucius
  • (deity) Allah, Vishnu, Ahura Mazda, Ra, Waheguru, Sage, Odin, Zeus, Jah
  • The possessive of the Jesus may be either Jesus’s (pronounced with three syllables) or Jesus’ (pronounced with two syllables). The latter form was traditionally more common when referred to the Christian figure while the former is more common when referring to other people named Jesus, but both forms are attested in both cases. See s'.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A Christian savior.
    • William Revell Moody (ed.), "Record of Christian Work", 1913, p 441 And, says George Eliot, and all who believe in her teaching, it is perfectly true that He is with us now in a dumb, vague, blessed impulse. Is that your Jesus? If I may recall my illustration of the train, I will tell you of my Jesus.
    • Scot McKnight, "Jesus and His Death", 2005, p152 ...leading Dom Crossan at times to the witty criticism that modern Jesus books are in a quest for who can say "my Jesus is more Jewish than your Jesus"...
    • Clinton Bennett, "In Search of Jesus", 2001, p231 Your Jesus is my Jesus' greatest enemy
    • Depeche Mode, "Personal Jesus", from the album "Violator", 1989. Your own personal Jesus
  2. An artistic representation of a Christian savior.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. An exclamation, the use of which is considered blasphemous among some Christians. Jesus, that was close!
Synonyms: (exclamation) Christ, God, Jesus Christ
related terms:
  • Joshua
Jesusanity etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A form of Christian religion focusing on Jesus to the exclusion of God.
    • 2009, Timothy George, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? Certain forms of liberal theology extol the fatherhood of God but (like Islam) reduce Jesus to the status of a prophet and regard the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force. There is also a kind of “Jesusanity” that ignores the Son's relationship to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
    • 2011, Jonathan Morrow, Think Christianly Darrell Bock, a prominent evangelical New Testament scholar and coauthor of Dethroning Jesus, sums up the cultural conversation about Jesus in terms of Jesusanity versus Christianity.
Jesus boots etymology Facetious misnomer based on the type of footwear (sandals) which is traditionally held to have worn.
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (slang) Sandals.
    • 2004, , The Lake, Leisure Books (2005), ISBN 9781428502956, unnumbered page: "She had a brother, Ben. Now, he was a real hippie. Long hair, beard, wild shirts, Jesus boots. Into the Beatles. The works."
  • {{seemoreCites}}
Jesus freak {{wikipedia}} etymology The phrase originally was applied to those involved in the Jesus movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, within the context of the freak scene of that era. However, some Christians now consider it a reclaimed word, as Christians, especially Christian youth, occasionally use it today as a positive term to let others know that they are not ashamed of their belief in Jesus.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative, slang) One who is perceived to be overtly and excessively Christian.
  2. (Christianity, slang) An enthusiastic Christian.
  • 1971. Elton John, Tiny Dancer (lyrics), Jesus freaks, out in the street, handing tickets out to God,
  • 1986. Felt Ballad of the Band (lyrics).
  • 1995. dc Talk, Jesus Freak (title of song).
Jesus jammies etymology See Jesus and jammies pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈdʒiːzəs ˌdʒæmiːz/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /ˈdʒiːzəs ˌdʒæmiːz/
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) The undergarments worn by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This kind of compound phrase might be for contempt towards occult meanings behind this kind of undergarment. Therefore, this idiom is to be handled with caution. Synonyms: garment, garments, temple garment
Jesus junk
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) Merchandise bearing Christian slogan.
    • 2001, James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew: The triumph of the King (Matthew 18-28) (page 445) The publishers are there, many marketing perfectly good books. But so are the hucksters, promoting the worst "Jesus junk" imaginable: T-shirts and bumper stickers ("Honk if you love Jesus") and pencils and plaques and bookmarks…
Jesus phone etymology Humorously from its perceived desirability and goodness.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, humorous) The iPhone.
    • 2007, Marketing the iPhone: Where would Jesus queue? (in The Economist, 5 July 2007) The blogosphere had already christened the iPhone, an allegedly revolutionary handset made by Apple, the "Jesus phone" weeks before it went on sale.
    • 2007, Maximum PC magazine ...the Jesus Phone, or, as it's more commonly known to PC users, the iPhone.
    • 2008, Mac Life magazine, vol 2 number 11 (November 2008) "Jesus Phone" is an extremely common nickname for the iPhone. Last time we Googled, there were well over 73000 uses of the phrase...
Jesus piece
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A gangster's gun decorated with precious metal, precious stone, etc.
    • 2006, Prestige Communication Group, Tha Twinz, Crime Pays? He lifted the Jesus piece, the Hebrew star of David, and the star and the crescent that were all dripping with diamonds.
    • 2008, Treasure Hernandez, Resurrection Malek strolled outside, his five-carat Jesus piece glistening against his fitted white T-shirt as he jogged over to his Navigator.
Jesusy etymology Jesus + y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Resembling or characteristic of Jesus.
    • 1971, George Cockcroft aka Luke Rhinehart , The Dice Man I was feeling very warm and Jesusy before buzzing for him to be brought in and, standing behind the desk, I looked at him now with love. He looked back at me as though he believed he could see into my soul, his large black eyes glimmering with apparent amusement.
Jew {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English Giw, Ju, from Old French juiu, Giu, gyu, from Latin iūdaeus, from Ancient Greek Ἰουδαῖος 〈Ioudaîos〉, from Hebrew יְהוּדִי 〈yĕhẇdiy〉 pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /dʒuː/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An adherent of Judaism. I don't have a religion, but my sister is a Jew and my brother is a Wiccan.
  2. A person who claims a cultural or ancestral connection to the Jewish people (see secular Jew).
    • William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice (Act III, scene I) Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
  • The Jewish community overall has a common religion, culture, identity, and ethnicity, but individual Jews do not necessarily share all of these; therefore, a person might be a Jew by one standpoint but not by another.
  • Additionally, there are some religious groups that identify themselves as part of Judaism, but that other Jewish groups might not; hence, use of the term Jew often depends on the speaker's opinions.
  • The noun Jew is not offensive, and the overwhelming majority of English-speaking Jews use the noun Jew to identify themselves.
  • That said, it has become offensive for historical reasons to use the word Jew attributively, in modifying another noun (as in "Jew lawyer"); the adjective Jewish is preferred for this purpose.
  • Additionally, the derived verbs jew and jew down are considered offensive, as they reflect stereotypes considered offensive.
  • religionist, Abrahamist. theist, creationist
coordinate terms:
  • {{list:religionists/en}}
Synonyms: Jewess (female), Hebrew (dated), Yahudi (quranic), Israelite (dated), kike (derogatory), Moses (dated), yid (derogatory), heeb (derogatory), sheeny (derogatory), hymie (derogatory)
  • halakhist
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (offensive) alternative case form of jew
jew Alternative forms: Jew etymology From the stereotype of Jews as scheming merchants. Compare gyp (which is probably from gypsy), and welsh, from Welsh. pronunciation
  • (UK) /dʒuː/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{homophones}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (offensive) To bargain, to attempt to gain an unfair price in a business deal; to defraud.
related terms:
  • jew down
Jewdar etymology Jew + dar
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) The supposed ability of a person to be able to detect or intuitively sense whether another person is a Jew.
    • 2001, Ophira Edut, "Bubbe Got Back: Tales of a Jewess with Caboose", in Yentl's Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism (ed. Danya Ruttenberg), Seal Press (2001), ISBN 9781580050579, page 30: And slap on a gag order if we dare say that these traits triggered our "Jewdar" (my Semitic equivalent of gaydar) and allowed us to identify someone as a fellow Jew.
    • 2011, Lawrence Douglas, The Vices, Other Press (2011), ISBN 9781590514160, unnumbered page: So she was Jewish. It wouldn't have occurred to me, but Melissa always faulted my Jewdar.
    • 2015, Joseph Epstein, Masters of the Games: Essays and Stories on Sport, Roman & Littlefield (2015), ISBN 9781442236547, page 82: The name Grossman, the physician father, the mention of Florida—my Jewdar went whirring away, strongly suggesting that he could be a member of the tribe.
related terms:
  • gaydar
Jew down
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (US, offensive) alternative spelling of jew down
    • 1877, John Habberton, Some folks, K. Grädener, page 104: "… who should come along this mornin' but one of those same holy people, and Jewed me down on pay that the Lord knows is hard enough to live on."
    • 1906, Thomas Beyer, The American Battleship in Commission as Seen by an Enlisted Man: Also Many Man-o'-war Yarns, Army and Navy Register, page 202: Incidentally they ask a price much higher than it is worth; they expect to be Jewed down.
    • 2005, Michael Boloker, A Journey West, iUniverse, ISBN 0595357709, page 204: "… I don't want to get Jewed down, you know. I'm sure you'll take care of me?"
  • This term is considered offensive; see the usage notes for jew down.
jew down Alternative forms: Jew down etymology From the noun Jew, based on the stereotype of Jews as ruthless about money and driving hard bargain + down.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (offensive) To bargain or haggle with a seller in order to obtain a lower price for a good or service.
    • 1861, George W. Henry, Tell Tale Rag, and Popular Sins of the Day, self-published (1861), page ix: … the popular and fashionable lying, which is so prolific between merchant and customer, as the process of jewing down is going on among all traders of the day.
    • 1906, unnamed university president, quoted in John Maxson Stillman's "Relations of Salary to Title in American Universities", in Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the Eighth Annual Conference of the Association of American Universities, Association of American Universities (1907), page 80: Equality, too, removes the possibility of bargaining, of jewing up or jewing down a salary, according to the exigencies of the moment.
    • 2005, Cedric Belfrage, Away from It All: An Escapologist's Notebook, Kessinger Publishing (2005), ISBN 1417985194, page 131: Millan had already been repeating his loud opinion of all Hindus, before the tailor he had so efficiently jewed down was half out of the room.
  • This term is considered offensive, as it is based on a stereotype considered offensive.
  • This term is used both intransitively and transitively. In transitive uses, the direct object may refer either to the seller, or to the kind of price (cost, fee, rent, etc., or more generally price). In all cases, the original price may be indicated in a from phrase, and the final price in a to phrase.
jewel etymology From xno juel, from Old French jouel (modern joyau), based ultimately on Latin iocus. pronunciation
  • (RP) /ˈdʒuːəl/, /ˈdʒʊːəl/
  • (Canada) /dʒuɫ/, /ˈdʒuwl̩/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A precious or semi-precious stone; gem, gemstone.
  2. A valuable object used for personal ornamentation, especially one made of precious metals and stones; a piece of jewellery.
    • ante 1611, William Shakespeare, , , lines 188–9: Iachimo: 'Tis plate of rare device, and jewels / Of rich and exquisite form, their values great.
  3. (figuratively) Anything considered precious or valuable. exampleGalveston was the jewel of Texas prior to the hurricane.
    • Shakespeare our prince (jewel of children)
  4. A bearing for a pivot in a watch, formed of a crystal or precious stone.
  5. (slang) The clitoris.
    • 2008, Another Time, Another Place: Five Novellas The area between her eyebrows wrinkled with the increasing circular motions her two fingers made on her jewel.
Synonyms: See also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To bejewel; to decorate or bedeck with jewels or gem.
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of jewel
  2. (slang) Family jewels; testicle.
    • 1991, Michael J Katz, The Big Freeze‎ Murray, if I wasn't so crazy about you I'd give you a kick right in the jewels.
    • 2008, Liam Jackson, Offspring You just don't steal a man's gun and not expect a swift kick in the jewels in return.
Jewish etymology From Jew + ish. Compare Old English Iūdēisc, Dutch joodsch, joods, German jüdisch, Danish jødisk, Swedish judisk, Gothic triudaivisks. See also Yiddish. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈdʒuː.ɪʃ/
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Being a Jew, or relating to Jews, their ethnicity, religion or culture.
  2. Yiddish
Synonyms: Israelite
  • Gentile
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal, dated) The Yiddish language.
Jewishish etymology Jewish + ish
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (possibly offensive) Having the indefinite appearance of being Jewish; moderately or superficially Jewish.
    • 1991, , If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?!, Grove Press (1991), ISBN 0802139507, page 3: I rent this movie the other day. It's about this dark, brooding, Jewishish guy {{…}}
  • {{seemoreCites}}
Jewish lightning
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (offensive) Supposed cause of a fire which is in fact deliberate lit by the property owner in order to benefit from insurance or similar such as destruction of documents.
    • 1996, John le Carré, interviewed at The insurance companies, many of which were Jewish, referred to "Jewish lightning" when unfortunate fires burned down warehouses in the East End.
Jewish nose
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogotary) A long, narrow and pointy nose
Jewish piano etymology From the row of keys on a cash register and the stereotype of Jews as money-grabbing.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, offensive) A cash register.
Jewlike etymology Jew + like
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Resembling a Jew or some aspect of one, especially (derogatory) the stereotype of a profiteer miser.
    • 1838, John Steuart, Bogotá in 1836-7 His charges are ten dollars for best Wellington boots; there are a number of native workmen, who sell, Jewlike, for just such prices as they can...
    • 1906, Frederic Jesup Stimson, In Cure of Her Soul Markoff, it appeared, said Radnor, "nosing around, Jewlike, to find some stuff that people would buy," had discovered, in London, a thirst for brewing...
    • 1996, Howard L Malchow, Gothic images of race in nineteenth-century Britain Jewlike, the Jesuits have insinuated themselves into every level of society.
Jewman etymology Jew + man
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (dated, derogatory, racial slur) A (male) Jew.
    • 2000, Kevin Corrigan Kearns, Dublin tenement life: an oral history: "There were other Jewmen — Mr Wolfson over to Bride Street, Mr Taylor of Fumbally Lane, Mr Tolkin of Mount Pleasant Place and then Benny Coleman in Tailors Lane."
Jewspeak etymology Jew + speak
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) The language used by Jew.
Jewsrael etymology From {{blend}}.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (derogatory or anti-Semitic) Israel.
Jew York
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) a nickname for New York, referring to its Jewish population
Jew Yorker etymology Jew York + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) New Yorker
Jezebel {{wikipedia}} etymology From Hebrew אִיזֶבֶל 〈ʼiyzebel〉. pronunciation
  • /ˈdʒɛzəˌbɛl/
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (biblical character) The Phoenician princess and Queen of Ancient Israel who appears in the Old Testament (1 Kings). She incited heresy and lured the Jews away from their God and back to idols. Jezebel was finally deposed by Jehu, who confronted her and had her thrown from the palace window to the streets, where her body was eaten by wild dogs.
    • {{quote-book }}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) An evil, scheming or shameless woman; an immoral woman. She’s an absolute Jezebel!
    • 1960: (P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter X) I accused her in set terms of giving me the heave-ho in order that she could mercenarily marry a richer man. I called her a carrot-topped Jezebel whom I was thankful to have got out of my hair.
jibber-jabber etymology Reduplicative form of jabber. pronunciation
  • /ˈdʒɪbə(ɹ)ˌdʒæbə(ɹ)/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, pejorative) Excessive or meaningless talk.
    • {{quote-video }}
    • {{quote-video }}
    • {{quote-video }}
Synonyms: blather, jabber, gibberish
jiff etymology jiffy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A jiffy; a moment; a short time.
    • 2009, David Jerome, Roastbeef's Promise (page 42) A lady's voice answered, “Be out in a jiff.”
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang) to deceive, swindle, trick
jiffy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A very short, unspecified length of time.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, 7 , [ Mr. Pratt's Patients] , “Old Applegate, in the stern, just set and looked at me, and Lord James, amidship, waved both arms and kept hollering for help. I took a couple of everlasting big strokes and managed to grab hold of the skiff's rail, close to the stern. Then, for a jiffy, I hung on and fought for breath.”
    exampleI'll be back in a jiffy.
  2. (computing) A unit of time defined by the frequency of its basic timer; historically, and by convention, 0.01 seconds, but some operating systems use other values.
  3. (electronics) The length of an alternating current power cycle (1/60 or 1/50 of a second)
  4. (physics) The time taken for light to travel one centimetre in a vacuum (sometimes one foot, or sometimes the width of a nucleon)
Synonyms: (short length of time):
  • (standard): instant, minute, moment, second, trice
  • (colloquial): mo, sec, tick
, (standard): instant, minute, moment, second, trice, (colloquial): mo, sec, tick, jif, jiff
jigaboo Alternative forms: zigaboo
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (offensive, slang, dated) A black person
  2. (offensive, slang, dated) Any dark-skinned person (frequently an Arab or Middle Eastern person).
jigger pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈdʒɪɡɚ/
  • (RP) /ˈdʒɪɡə/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Agent noun of the verb jig. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary suggests a possible link to Old High German gīga.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) A double-ended vessel, generally of stainless steel or other metal, one end of which typically measures 1 1/2 fluid ounce, the other typically 1 fluid ounce.
    • 2000, Robert B. Hess, A good jigger will have a well formed lip that will pour a clean stream into the cocktail shaker or glass.
  2. (US) A measure of 1 1/2 fluid ounces of liquor.
  3. (mining) The sieve used in sorting or separating ore.
  4. (mining) One who jigs; a miner who sorts or cleans ore by the process of jigging.
  5. (pottery) A horizontal lathe used in producing flatware.
    • 2004,, "Jiggering": Hand jiggers consisted of two iron frames with a spindle in each - the driving spindle with its iron belt pulley approximately 20 inches in diameter and the driven spindle with a small wooden pulley.
  6. (textiles) A device used in the dyeing of cloth.
  7. A pendulum rolling machine for slicking or graining leather.
  8. (golf, dated) A wooden or metal headed golf club used to play low flying shots to the putting green from short distances.
  9. (nautical) A light tackle, consisting of a double and single block and the fall, used for various purposes, as to increase the purchase on a topsail sheet in hauling it home; the watch tackle.
  10. (nautical) A jiggermast.
  11. (nautical, New England) A small fishing vessel, rigged like a yawl.
  12. (fishing) A device used by fishermen to set their nets under the ice of frozen lakes.
  13. (archaic) One who dance jig; an odd-looking person.
  14. (New Zealand) A short board or plank inserted into tree for a person to stand on while cutting off higher branches.
  15. (US) A placeholder name for any small mechanical device.
Synonyms: (pottery lathe) jolley, (nautical mast) jiggermast, (measure of liquor) pony, (placeholder name) thingamajig; doojigger; see also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To alter or adjust, particularly in ways not originally intended. You'll have to jigger it from the original specifications to get it to work.
  2. (pottery) To use a jigger.
  3. To move, send, or drive with a jerk; to jerk; also, to drive or send over with a jerk, as a golf ball.
    • Harper's Magazine He could jigger the ball o'er a steeple tall as most men would jigger a cop.
Synonyms: (use a pottery jigger) jolley
etymology 2 Likely a corruption of chigoe. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary suggests a possible derivation from Wolof jiga.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sandflea, Tunga penetrans, of the order Siphonaptera; chigoe.
  2. A larva of any of several mite in the family {{taxlink}}; chigger, harvest mite.
etymology 3 A slang term of unknown origin, originally meaning prison. Oxford English Dictionary suggests that its origin might be the same as Etymology 1, above.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, archaic) A prison; a jail cell.
  2. (dialect, Scouse, dated) An alleyway separating the backs of two rows of houses.
  3. (slang, euphemism) A penis.
  4. (slang, euphemism) A vagina.
  5. (slang) A door.
  6. (slang) An illegal distillery.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang, obsolete) To imprison.
    • 1870, J.T. Campion, "Billy in the Bowl", The Shamrock volume 8, page 107: ...offering to swear an alibi for the prisoner [...] to ensure an acquittal. Terms: £50 for value received. No pay if jiggered.
  2. (slang, archaic) To confound; to damn.
    • 1831, John Banim, The Smuggler page 231: jigger me, but I think you be turning jest into earnest,
    • 1887, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Lord Fauntleroy page 173: It had always been his habit to say, "I will be jiggered," but this time he said, "I am jiggered."
jiggy pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology jig + -y
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of or pertaining to a jig.
  2. (slang) Being crazy. He's gone completely jiggy.
  3. (slang) Being jittery, fidgety, restless, excited.
    • 1989. Radford & Crowley, Drug Agent: If I was too jiggy to hold the syringe, he'd shoot me up.
  4. (slang) Being extravagant, wonderful, excellent, enjoyable, exciting, stylish, cool, successful.
    • Get yourself some jiggy gear.
  5. (slang) Having fun, enjoying oneself totally; losing one's inhibitions, especially when dancing or performing to music.
    • 1997-1998. Will Smith, Get Jiggy With It. (song) Just can't sit Gotta get jiggy wit it
    • 1998. L.A. Times: Latin groovers get jiggy at the mercury-hot Conga Room on Wilshire Boulevard.
    • 1998. People Magazine: When Ally McBeal's writers decided to have ...Calista Flockhart get jiggy with an imaginary dancing baby..."
related terms:
  • get down (with it).
quotations: {{timeline}}
  • [1916], 2004, Annie Hamilton Donnell, Miss Theodosia's Heartstrings “He likes jiggy tunes best—please sing him jiggy tunes.”
  • [1965] 1997, Alan Lomax, Jean Ritchie, Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians We have always known this “little foolish thing”—Dad’s description of “The Swapping Song.” Very often it is used for baby-bouncing, because of its jiggy rhythm.
  • 2000, Charles Wolfe, in “Bluegrass Touches—An Interview with Bill Monroe,” in The Bill Monroe Reader, Tom Ewing ed. Wolfe: When you were growing up in Kentucky, did they use the long bow or this so-called jiggy bow? Bill: Well, that jiggy bow didn’t come out till the Georgia shuffle, and that’s where a lot of that started from. Of course, a lot of fiddlers played a little jiggy bow, but most of them had a little shuffle.
jill pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /dʒɪl/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{audio}}
etymology 1 By analogy with jack. See Jack and Jill.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (uncommon, coarse, slang, of a female) To masturbate.
    • 1997 June 21, 1st try. Sex with mom's friend (teenM/olderF), in, Usenet: exampleSue was fingering herself in my bed. IN MY BED. I couldn't believe it. I tried to pretend that I was still asleep but she caught me peeking as she was jilling herself.
Synonyms: See also
  • {{seeCites}}
etymology 2 From the female name Jill.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A female ferret.
coordinate terms:
  • hob male ferret
etymology 3 From the female name Jill; paired with jack (from the male name Jack) as terms for alcohol measurements.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. misspelling of gill
jillion {{wikipedia}} etymology See -illion.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, hyperbole) An unspecified large number (of).
Synonyms: See also .
jill off etymology By analogy with jack off and "Jack and Jill".
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (coarse, slang, of a female) To masturbate.
  • {{seeCites}}
Synonyms: See also
jillstrap etymology By humorous analogy with jockstrap, Jock and Jill being male and female names respectively.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A pelvic protector, a woman's equivalent of a man's jockstrap.
Jim Crow etymology From the minstrel show song "Jump Jim Crow", written in 1828 by Thomas D. Rice, the originator of blackface performance.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (obsolete, derogatory, offensive, ethnic slur) A black man.
  2. (historical) Southern United States racist and especially segregation policies in the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s, taken collectively.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (military) A World War II code name for patrols along the British coastline to intercept enemy aircraft, originally intended to warn of invasion in 1940.
    • 2008, Simon Muggleton, “The Battle of Britain Monument in London”: … flying cannon equipped Spitfires V’s mainly on ‘Jim Crow’ operations (operational Patrols along the home coastline intercepting any hostile aircraft and looking out for any invasion forces).
  2. (engineering) A double-action planing tool invented by Joseph Whitworth, in which the blade ‘jumps’ to face the other way on the back-stroke.
    • 1852, Charles Tomlinson (scientist) (editor), Tomlinson's Cyclopaedia of Useful Arts, volume 1, section xiv “Machinery Exhibited”, page cxliii: Two other machines exhibited by Whitworth… One was furnished with a reversing tool to plane both ways, and called, from its peculiar motion, a Jim Crow machine.
    • 1864, February 6, Once A Week (magazine), volume 10, article “Machine Tool-Makers”, page 188: He has considerably improved upon the planing machine, in his “Jim Crow” machine, so called because the cutter reverses itself and works both ways, and in fact adapts itself to any position to do its work.
    • 1872, August 2, The Building News and Engineering Journal, article “Railway Works at Longhedge”, volume 23, page 77: The “Jim Crow” machine, which is Whitworth's patent, was new to some of the visitors. … But with a “Jim Crow” a cut is obtained both ways.
  3. (rail transport) A tool for bending railway rails, by holding the rail with two arms and pushing a screw into the other side.
    • 1886, The Railway Engineer, volume 7, page 207: When rails have to be bent with a Jim Crow, as in setting stock or check-rails, or straightening a bent rail, they should always be heated first, or they are liable to crack, especially steel rails.
    • 1899, W. A. Smith, Railway Review, volume 39, page 16: It is placed on the rail pretty much as a jim-crow is set, and as the middle roll is turned it travels along on the rail, curving the rail as it moves.
    • 2013, Terry Pratchett, Raising Steam, Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-857-52227-6, pages 345–346: Quelling his nerves, Moist grabbed a jim crow and opened the trap door on to the roof of the guard's van, to the initial amazement of the grag who had been trying to force his way in.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Discriminatory against African Americans.
  2. Segregated between African Americans and Caucasians. A Jim Crow audience
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To work towards legislation that incorporate a discriminatory caste system or racial segregation
jimdandy etymology Jim + dandy?
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (dated, slang) A fine or excellent person; a crackerjack.

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