A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
J Arthur (Rank)

Rhyming slang for wank, J Arthur Rank/wank, dates from the 1950s, from the British cinema company of the same name. See also Sherman tank.


see Yarpie


A Jabberwocky is a fantasy monster created by Lewis Carroll in a poem of nonsense verse called Jabberwocky which appears in Through the Looking Glass...

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Jack o’ lantern

Jack o’Lantern is another name for will o’ the wisp from about the mid-17th century but, from the mid-19th century, it also became the name for the ca...

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Jack off

American slang for masturbate and dates from the early 20th century, the expression that is, rather than the action it describes.

Jack Robinson

see Before you can say Jack Robinson

Jack tar

Slang for sailor since the late 1600s, sometimes shortened to jack or tar. The reference to tar derives from the caulking work that sailors had to do...

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Jack the lad

British expression for a brash young man, a chancer, dates from the 1840s. The expression may be a reference to the famous Jack Sheppard, an immensely...

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Someone who is handy in many different tasks or disciplines, dates from the 1600s, sometimes followed by the phrase ‘and master of none’, which rather...

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If someone knows jack, or knows shit, they know nothing, but if they know jack-shit, they well and truly know nothing at all. It is American slang dat...

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Jack/Jack Jones

Jack denoting any common fellow whose real name was not known has been in use since the 14th century, as has jack meaning a hoist. Jack as in Union Ja...

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These days always appears in the plural form and the current meaning for a jackanapes is a mischievous, impertinent person. It dates in this sense fro...

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Is a British children’s TV series that started in 1965 and was still running at time of press. The title is borrowed from an 18th century nursery rhym...

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Australian informal for an inexperienced newcomer to any trade or mode of farming. It dates from 1880 and was originally applied to inexperienced immi...

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Originally, jackass was a term for a male ass or donkey, Jack being a common name for a male of any description, as in ‘jack rabbit’, jack of all trad...

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