See also: Jack

English edit

 
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Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: jăk, IPA(key): /d͡ʒæk/
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  • Rhymes: -æk

Etymology 1 edit

Inherited from Middle English jakke, from Anglo-Norman jacke, Middle French jaque, jacque, from jacques (peasant), from the proper name Jacques. Compare jacquerie.

Noun edit

jack (plural jacks)

  1. A coarse mediaeval coat of defence, especially one made of leather. [from 14th c.]
    jack of plate (armor made up of small metal plates sewn between layers of cloth, similar to a brigandine)
    jack of mail
    padded jack
    • 1591, John Harington, translating Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, x. 73 (quoted in e.g. 1822, Robert Nares, A Glossary, page 186):
      Their horsemen are with jacks for most part clad, / Their horses are both swift of course and strong, / They run on horseback with a slender gad, / And like a speare, but that it is more long.
    • 1766, Walter Harris, The history and antiquities of the city of Dublin:
      threescore men in jacks or light coats of mail
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 15:
      The aketon, gambeson, vambasium, and jack were military vestments, calculated for the defence of the body, differing little from each other, except in their names, their materials and construction were nearly the same, the authorities quoted in the notes, shew they were all composed of many folds of linen, stuffed with cotton, wool or hair, quilted, and commonly covered with leather, made of buck or doe skin.
Derived terms edit

Etymology 2 edit

 
A scissor jack (mechanical device)

Transferative use of the personal name Jack.

Noun edit

jack (plural jacks)

  1. A man.
    1. (chiefly capitalized) A name applied to a hypothetical or typical man. [from 14th c.]
      • 1723, The New-England Courant, volume 80:
        After Dinner they frisk away to some known Place of Rendezvous, where (at Night) every Jack has his Jill and every Jill has her Jack.
    2. (countable, now chiefly US) A man, a fellow; a typical man; men in general. [from 16th c.]
      • c. 1590–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
        You have showed a tender fatherly regard / To wish me wed to one half-lunatic, / A madcap ruffian and a swearing Jack [] .
    3. (colloquial) A sailor. [from 17th c.]
    4. (slang) A policeman or detective; (Australia) a military policeman. [from 19th c.]
      Synonyms: jake; see also Thesaurus:police officer
      • 1935, Bernard O'Donnell, The trials of Mr. Justice Avory, page 219:
        When Wardell arrived on the scene, they were surprised to find that he was unshaven, and did not look too happy. One of them remarked: "The 'Jacks' (detectives) are after you."
      • 2013, Nick Oldham, Big City Jacks:
        'I'd like you to meet DCI Henry Christie,' FB was saying. The older of the two jacks reached forward and gave Henry's right paw a quick tug.
    5. (now rare) A manual laborer. [from 19th c.]
    6. (Canada, US, colloquial) A lumberjack. [from 20th c.]
    7. (India, historical, slang) A sepoy.
      • 1855, William Delafield Arnold, Oakfield: Or, Fellowship in the East, page 280:
        I hope to God his theories will not unman him in action, that he will not be musing and refining when he should be leading the Jacks []
  2. A device or utensil.
    1. A device for turning a spit; a smokejack or roasting jack. [from 14th c.]
    2. Each of a series of blocks in a harpsichord or the earlier virginal, communicating the action of the key to the quill; sometime also, a hopper in a modern piano. [from 16th c.]
      • 1609, Shakespeare, “Sonnet 128”, in Edward Bliss Reed, editor, Shakespeare's Sonnets, Yale University Press, published 1923, lines 1–14:
        Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
        To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
        Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
        At the wood's boldness by thee blushing stand!
      • 1780, Hannah Cowley, The Belle's Stratagem, I.4:
        [W]hat the devil makes you so dull, Letitia? I thought to have found you popping about as brisk as the jacks of your harpsichord.
      • 1923, Charles Talbut Onions, “Notes”, in Edward Bliss Reed, editor, Shakespeare's Sonnets, Yale University Press, Note 128.5:
        In the virginal, an upright piece of wood fixed to the key-lever and fitted with a quill which plucked the string as the jack rose when the key was pressed down. Here used as "key."
    3. (obsolete) A support for wood being sawn; a sawhorse or sawbuck. [16th–19th c.]
    4. A device used to hold a boot by the heel, to assist in removing the boot. [from 17th c.]
    5. A mechanical device used to raise and (temporarily) support a heavy object, now especially to lift one side of a motor vehicle when (e.g.) changing a tyre. [from 17th c.]
      She used a jack to lift her car and changed the tire.
    6. Any of various levers for raising or lowering the sinkers which push the loops down on the needles in a knitting machine or stocking frame. [from 18th c.]
    7. (mining, now rare) A wedge for separating rocks rent by blasting. [from 19th c.]
    8. (obsolete) A grating device used to separate and guide the threads in a warping machine; a heck box. [19th c.]
    9. (obsolete) A machine for twisting the sliver as it leaves a carding machine, in the preparation of yarn. [19th–20th c.]
    10. (electronics) A switch for a jack plug, a jackknife switch; (more generally) a socket used to connect a device to a circuit, network etc. [from 19th c.]
      telephone jack
      Antonym: plug
  3. A non-tool object or thing.
    1. (now historical, regional) A pitcher or other vessel for holding liquid, especially alcoholic drink; a black-jack. [from 16th c.]
    2. (card games, originally colloquial) The lowest court card in a deck of standard playing cards, ranking between the 10 and queen, with an image of a knave or pageboy on it. [from 17th c.]
      Synonym: knave
    3. (bowls) A small, typically white, ball used as the target ball in bowls; a jack-ball. [from 17th c.]
      • 1822, Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak[1]:
        like an uninstructed bowler, so to speak, who thinks to attain the jack, by delivering his bowl straight forward upon it
    4. (nautical) A small ship's flag used as a signal or identifying device; a small flag flown at the bow of the vessel. [from 17th c.]
    5. (UK, regional, now rare, historical) A measure of liquid corresponding to a quarter of a pint. [from 18th c.]
    6. (obsolete, slang) A fake coin designed to look like a sovereign. [19th c.]
    7. (nautical, now rare, historical) A jack crosstree.[1] [from 19th c.]
    8. (games) A small, six-pointed playing piece used in the game of jacks. [from 19th c.]
    9. (US) A torch or other light used in hunting to attract or dazzle game at night. [from 19th c.]
      • 1930, Tappan Gregory, Deer at Night in the North Woods:
        a heron when seeing a deer attracted by the jack
    10. (slang, chiefly US) Money. [from 19th c.]
      • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin, published 2011, page 133:
        First off Regan carried fifteen grand, packed it in his clothes all the time. Real money, they tell me. Not just a top card and a bunch of hay. That's a lot of jack (or jack-shit) [] .
    11. (Canada, US) A strong alcoholic liquor, especially home-distilled or illicit. [from 19th c.]
      • 1920, Hart Crane, letter, 14 April:
        [A] quart of raisin jack was divided between us with the result that tha day proper (after the night before) was spent very quietly, watered and Bromo-Seltzered, with amusing anecdotes occasionally sprouting from towelled head to towelled head.
    12. (colloquial, euphemistic) Nothing, jack shit. [from 20th c.]
      • 2023, Eleanor Catton, Birnam Wood, page 72:
        She didn't know what he was doing on the Darvish farm, or how long he'd been there, or how long he planned to stay. She didn't even know if it was his plane. In other words, jack, Mira thought, in a spike of furious resentment against herself.
      You haven't done jack. Get up and get this room cleaned up right now!
    13. (cricket, slang) The eleventh batsman to come to the crease in an innings.
    14. (slang, Appalachians) A smooth often ovoid large gravel or small cobble in a natural water course.
  4. A plant or animal.
    1. A pike, especially when young. [from 16th c.]
    2. (chiefly US) A male ass, especially when kept for breeding. [from 17th c.]
      Synonym: jackass
    3. Any of the marine fish in the family Carangidae. [from 17th c.]
      Synonym: jack mackerel
    4. (US) A jackrabbit. [from 19th c.]
      • 1932, Isabel T. Kelly, “Ethnography of the Surprise Valley Paiute”, in University of California Publications in California Archaeology an Ethnography, volume 31, number 3, page 88:
        Cottontails were taken along the creeks, under the willows. Their flesh was preferable to that of the jacks [] "
    5. A large California rockfish, the bocaccio, Sebastes paucispinis.
    6. Mangifera caesia, related to the mango tree.
    7. (colloquial) Plant in the genus Arisaema, also known as Jack-in-the-pulpit, and capitalized Jack.
      • 2003 May 1, “Is that “Jack” in the Pulpit”, in Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History[2]:
        Usually a jack that makes male flowers has only one main leaf (right), while female plants have two. […] The specific taxonomy of Jack-in-the Pulpit, a member of the Arum Family (Araceae), is rather up in the air. Some botanists believe all jacks are just one species, Arisaema triphyllum, while others claim there are as many as three: A. triphyllum, A. atrorubens, and A. stewardsonii.
      • 2013 May 5, “Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and Jill”, in Eat the Weeds[3]:
        In fact, most male Jacks are under 14 inches tall. Most Jacks over 14 inches tend to be Jills.
    8. (colloquial) Spadix of a plant (also capitalized Jack).
      • 2003 May 1, “Is that “Jack” in the Pulpit”, in Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History[4]:
        Lifting the flap at the top of the spathe reveals our slender and round-headed friend "Jack," known better to botanists as the spadix.
      • 2017 May 24, Stephen Westcott-Gratton, “Purple pulpits and trilliums”, in Gardenmaking[5]:
        On every kid’s list of favourite plants is our quirky Jack-in-the-pulpit with its green, red or purple spadices (the Jacks) and hooded green-, red- or almost black-striped spathes (the pulpits).
    9. (apparently does not occur standalone for the genus per se) Plant of the genus Emex, also considered synonymous to Rumex, if not then containing two species lesser jack and little jack for Emex spinosa syn. Rumex spinosus, Australian English three-corner jack and prickly jack for Emex australis syn. Rumex hypogaeus.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
See also edit
Playing cards in English · playing cards (layout · text)
             
ace deuce, two three four five six seven
             
eight nine ten jack, knave queen king joker

Verb edit

jack (third-person singular simple present jacks, present participle jacking, simple past and past participle jacked)

  1. (transitive) To physically raise using a jack.
    Synonym: jack up
    He jacked the car so that he could replace the brake pads.
    • 2000, Bob Foster, Birdum or Bust!, Henley Beach, SA: Seaview Press, page 111:
      Large cranes were virtually non-existent in the areas I worked with this truck, so we jacked everything on and off[.]
  2. (transitive) To raise or increase.
    If you want to jack your stats you just write off failures as invalid results.
  3. To increase the potency of an alcoholic beverage similarly to distillation by chilling it to below the freezing point of water, removing the water ice crystals that form, and leaving the still-liquid alcoholic portion.
    • 1941, Esquire, volume 15, numbers 1-3, page 176:
      Fruit of the orchard has been "jacked" these many generations, with Plymouth Rockers putting the hard cider barrel down into the ground to freeze, and []
    • 2010, Scott Mansfield, Strong Waters: A Simple Guide to Making Beer, Wine, Cider ..., →ISBN:
      The potency of a jacked beverage depends on the temperature applied to the original beverage; the colder the liquor, the more water can be frozen out [] . In New England, where this technique was historically used, people could get applejack to around 30 percent alcohol [] .
  4. (transitive, colloquial) To steal (something), typically an automobile; to rob (someone).
    Someone jacked my car last night!
    • 1993, “Just Another Day”, in Black Reign, performed by Queen Latifah:
      A kid in a M3's getting jacked right in front of me
    • 2014, Skepta, Jme (lyrics and music), “That's Not Me” (track 10), in Konnichiwa, performed by Skepta featuring Jme:
      Now I'm in a new whip counting the big stack / Yellow-gold chain and the diamonds are black / Jack me? Nah, you don't wanna do that
  5. (intransitive) To dance by moving the torso forward and backward in a rippling motion.
  6. (colloquial, vulgar) To jack off, to masturbate.
    • 2017, Diamond Johnson, Finding My Way Back to Love 2, Sullivan Group Publishing, →ISBN:
      I don't even care about mine, I can get my shit off while jacking in the shower.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Adjective edit

jack (comparative more jack, superlative most jack)

  1. (Australia) Tired, disillusioned; fed up (with). [from 19th c.]
    • 2006, Alexis Wright, Carpentaria, Giramondo, published 2012, page 78:
      In the end, black and white were both crawling on the ground in reconciliation. Both saying that they were plain jack of each other.

Etymology 3 edit

From Portuguese jaca (jackfruit), from Malayalam ചക്ക (cakka).

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

jack (plural jacks)

  1. The edible fruit of the Asian tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus); also the tree itself. [from 16th c.]
    • 1909, Edgur Thurston, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, page 437:
      A mock living burial of the principal performer, who is placed in a pit, which is covered with planks, on the top of which a sacrifice is performed, with a fire kindled with jack wood (Artocarpus integrifolia) and a plant called erinna.
  2. The related tree Mangifera caesia.
    Synonyms: white mango, wani

Etymology 4 edit

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

Noun edit

jack (plural jacks)

  1. (slang, baseball) A home run.
    • 2001 October 8, Ray Dames, “Re: McGwire's Year”, in rec.sport.baseball[6] (Usenet):
      The year before ('76) Kingman had 37 jacks with only 502 PAs. Is that the limit?
    • 2002 April 18, Perry, “Re: To all you Oakland A's fans...”, in rec.sport.baseball[7] (Usenet):
      Me three. I never have quite understood all the "three true outcomes" fetish around here. I mean, I know that building an offense around walks and 3-run jacks embodies the Sabermetric Virtues, and especially in today's conditions that's the way to win, but man, it sure leads to some slow, boring games.
    • 2004 January 18, Terrell Miller, “Re: Does playing for the 3-run home run really help you win championships?”, in rec.sport.baseball[8] (Usenet):
      3-run jacks are just another tool in a team's chest. The goal is to make the playoffs, then win at least one more game than your opponent each round. And repeat next year, and the year after that, and...

Verb edit

jack (third-person singular simple present jacks, present participle jacking, simple past and past participle jacked)

  1. (transitive, slang, baseball) To hit (the ball) hard; especially, to hit (the ball) out of the field, producing a home run.
    • 1986, Arete: The Journal of Sport Literature[9], volume 4, Sport Literature Association:
      An excellent piece of work, Wayne thought, so good in fact, he wasn’t surprised when Bailey walked to the plate and on the first pitch jacked the ball far into the parking lot outside the left-field fence for a tournament winning homerun.
    • 2004, Wayne Stewart, Hitting Secrets of the Pros: Big League Sluggers Reveal the Tricks of Their Trade, McGraw-Hill Professional, →ISBN, page 90:
      Therefore, even though Vizquel is certainly not a power hitter, at times he will try to jack the ball, perhaps pulling it with just enough oomph to carry down the line for a homer.
    • a. 2009, Jim McManus, quoted in T.J. Lewis, A View from the Mound: My Father’s Life in Baseball, Lulu.com (publisher, 2008), →ISBN, page 107:
      Maybe he hung a curve ball to somebody and they jacked it out of the park on him and he wasn’t upset about it.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ 1841, Richard Henry Dana Jr., The Seaman's Friend


Dutch edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English jack.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

jack n (plural jacks, diminutive jackje n)

  1. jacket

Portuguese edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English jack.

Noun edit

jack m (plural jacks)

  1. jack (an electronic connector mounted on a surface)
  2. (Brazil, slang) A rapist (specifically a male one)

Romanian edit

Noun edit

jack n (plural jackuri)

  1. Alternative form of geac