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
Journey / go the journey

This familiar English word for a distance travelled dates from the 1400s, and is a loan word from the French 'journée' meaning day. Its original meani...

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Journeyman

The meaning of this word is linked to that of journey in that it also dates from the 1400s and means a workman who has completed his training or appre...

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Joystick

Joystick the control lever in an aeroplane or more latterly in video games dates from c.1910 and its origin is obscure. It is also slang for penis fro...

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Judge a book by its cover

see Don’t judge a book by its cover


Juggernaut

A large, overpowering, destructive force or object of any kind dates in this sense from the 1600s. The word derives from the Hindi Jagganath, the idol...

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Juice

Originally American slang for alcohol dates from the early 19th century and still current in expressions like jungle juice and hooligan juice, alcohol...

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July

see Months of the year


Jumbo

Anything that is very large or over-sized, dates from the late 19th century and derives from a famous elephant called Jumbo that was resident at Londo...

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Jump for joy

see Over the moon


Jump in the lake

To tell someone 'to go jump in the lake' is originally an American English euphemism for 'go to hell', and dates from the early 20th century.


Jump on the bandwagon

To join a movement that already has popular and successful momentum, an Americanism dates from the latter half of the 19th century. Wagons carrying ba...

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Jump out of one’s skin

Get such a fright that one could literally leap out of one’s skin or body, an American metaphor that dates from the early 20th century. See also Play...

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Jump ship

To desert from a ship or leave it without permission dates from the late 19th century; used figuratively to leave an organisation or situation in favo...

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Jump someone’s bones

American slang for sexual intercourse from a crude male perspective dates from the 1960s.


Jump the gun

The gun referred to is the starter’s pistol that was first used to start races during the late 19th century and along with trying to beat the gun or b...

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