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In original sense, a five-cent US coin (a nickel); use for taxis and buses due to these services originally charging five cents as fare. Speculated to originate from Louisiana Creole French jetnée, from French jeton (token, coin-sized metal disc).


jitney (plural jitneys)

  1. A small bus or minibus which typically operates service on a fixed route, sometimes scheduled.
  2. An unlicensed taxi cab.
  3. A shared-ride taxi.
  4. (US, archaic) A small coin, a nickel.
  5. (in attributive use, US, archaic) Very inexpensive.
  6. (Canada) An informal lawn bowling or curling competition in which all players present are randomly drawn into teams.
  7. (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) A fraudulent arrangement whereby a broker who has direct access to an exchange executes trades on behalf of a broker who doesn't.