Origin uncertain. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests onomatopoeia for motion. Attested since the 18th century.


jink (plural jinks)

  1. A quick evasive turn.

Derived termsEdit



jink (third-person singular simple present jinks, present participle jinking, simple past and past participle jinked)

  1. (intransitive) To make a quick evasive turn or turns to confuse pursuers, incoming fire, etc.
    • 1786, Robert Burns, "Address to the Devil", Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect volume I:
      But faith! he'll turn a corner jinkin, / An' cheat you yet.
    • 1943, G B Warnes, Hints and Tips for Beginners (and others) in Whirlwind Bombers Attacking Shipping, National Archives AIR 27/1551
      Do not jink. This serves no purpose and will only spoil your run in.
    • 1963, Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty's Secret Service
      A man on skis was coming fast after him. [] Bond [] gave a deep sigh of anger, and put on all the speed he could, crouching low and jinking occasionally to spoil the man's aim.
    • 2011 January 5, Jonathan Stevenson, “Arsenal 0 - 0 Man City”, in BBC[1]:
      As the Gunners attacked in unrelenting waves of red the opportunities started to fall their way, as the outstanding Wilshere fired at Hart and then Van Persie jinked into space only to see his arrow-like 18-yard left-foot rocket shot cannon back off the base of Hart's right-hand post.
  2. (transitive) To cause a vehicle to make a quick evasive turn.
    • 2000, Mack Maloney, Shuttle Down →ISBN
      Jink it he did. Norton pushed the aircraft left just as he was at the bottom of his loop.
  3. (intransitive, card games) In the games of spoilfive and forty-five, to win the game by taking all five tricks; also, to attempt to win all five tricks, losing what has been already won if unsuccessful.
  4. To elude; to cheat.