Alternative formsEdit


Partial calque of French dame-jeanne (literally Lady Jane), of uncertain origin. Note that the French Jeanne (Jane, feminine of John) has changed to the masculine form John, rather than the cognate English Jane.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdɛmɪdʒɒn/
  • (file)


demijohn (plural demijohns)

  1. A large bottle with a short neck, sometimes with two small handles at the neck, sometimes encased in wickerwork.
    Synonym: carboy
    • 1920, Peter B. Kyne, chapter VIII, in The Understanding Heart:
      “Reckon it's first-drink time,” the old prospector cried cheerily, and unearthed Monica's two-gallon demijohn.
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 234:
      Toby, placing his gold-rimmed spectacles on his nose, set our dinner to simmer and uncorked a demijohn of the old Verfeuille red which glowed in our glasses with the embers of old recollections of half-forgotten journeys and excursions of our youth by the light of the moon.∏


Further readingEdit