EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Appeared at the end of the 19th century as a term for coffee, a blend of java +‎ mocha.

By the 1920s or 1940s[1] jamoke was also attested in the sense of "fool, idiot", perhaps suggesting they lacked mental abilities beyond that of a cup of coffee, or perhaps an unrelated word; the first syllable is reminiscent of jaboney, jiboney,[2] and the second syllable is reminiscent of moke. Also spelled jamook, giamoke, and giamope, the term as used for an idiot has also been suggested to derive from a dialectal Italian (Neapolitan or Sicilian) word giamope.[3]

In the 1960s it also began to be used as slang for male genitalia.

This term may be the origin of cup of joe and joe; see those entries for more.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

jamoke (countable and uncountable, plural jamokes)

  1. (uncountable, slang) Coffee.
    • 1957, Samuel Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (Illinois 2002), page 71:
      The chartroom door popped open before the startled admirals in the cockpit, and the beaming face of the boat's cook appeared to offer the hospitality of his craft, thus: “Would yer Majesty like a cuppa jamoke?”
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:coffee
  2. (countable, slang) Stupid person, fool.
    • 2004, Dan Johnson, The Molotov Box (Xlibris 2004), page 24:
      You and I both know that this is not enough money for the President and it's too damn much for some jamoke in the Bronx.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:fool
  3. (countable, slang) Penis.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:penis

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tom Dalzell, Terry Victor, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2015, Routledge, →ISBN), page 1250
  2. ^ jamoke”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.
  3. ^ Modern Language Teachers' Association of Sweden, Moderna språk (2002), volumes 96-97, page 30: Jamook (2:6) in ItAm means 'lame brain, half-wit'; according to Gagliano (1999) it comes from a dialect word giamope 'idiot'."