- jollification (n.)
- "mirth, scene or occasion of merrymaking," 1769, from jolly + -fication. Shortened form jolly (1905) led to phrase get (one's) jollies "have fun" (1957). Spenser has jolliment (1590).
- jollify (v.)
- 1824, a back-formation from jollification. Related: Jollified; jollifying. Middle English had jolifen, joleiven "be cheerful, be cheering" (late 14c.); to jolly (v.) is attested from c. 1600.
- jollily (adv.)
- c. 1300, from jolly (adj.) + -ly (2).
- jolliness (n.)
- late 14c., from jolly + -ness.
- jollity (n.)
- early 14c., jolyfte, iolite, "merrymaking, revelry," also "agreeableness, attractiveness, beauty, elegance;" from Old French jolivete "gaity, cheerfulness; amorous passion; life of pleasure," from jolif "festive, merry" (see jolly).
From late 14c. as "lightheartedness, cheerfulness." A word with more senses in Middle and early Modern English than recently: "sexual pleasure or indulgence, lust" (mid-14c.); "insolent presumptuousness, impudence" (mid-14c.); "vigor, strength" (mid-14c.); "love; a love affair" (c. 1300, hence in jollity "by fornication, out of wedlock"); "gallantry" (1530s); "state of splendor" (1540s).
- jolly (adj.)
- c. 1300 (late 13c. as a surname, late 14c. as the name of a dog), "merry, cheerful, naturally of a happy disposition; comical; suggesting joy or merriment," from Old French jolif "festive, merry; amorous; pretty" (12c., Modern French joli "pretty, nice"), a word of uncertain origin. It has an apparent cognate in Italian giulivo "merry, pleasant."
It is often suggested that the word is ultimately Germanic, from a source akin to Old Norse jol "a winter feast" (see yule). OED, however, finds this "extremely doubtful," based on "historic and phonetic difficulties." Perhaps the French word is from Latin gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- "to rejoice" (see joy).
Meaning "great, remarkable, uncommon" is from 1540s, hence its use as a general intensifier in expressions of admiration. Colloquial meaning "somewhat drunk" is from 1650s. As an adverb from early 15c., "stoutly, boldly." For loss of -f, compare tardy, hasty. Related: Jolliness. Jolly robin "handsome or charming man, gaily dressed man, dandy" is from late 14c.
Broader Middle English senses, mostly now lost, include "vigorous, strong, youthful" (c. 1300); "amorous; lecherous; ready to mate; in heat" (c. 1300); "pleasing, beautiful, handsome; noble-looking; handsomely dressed" (c. 1300); playful, frisky (mid-14c.); "arrogant, overweening, foolish" (mid-14c.).
- jolly-boat (n.)
- "small boat hoisted at the stern of a vessel," 1727; the jolly is of unknown origin, probably from Danish jolle (17c.) or Dutch jol (1680s), both related to yawl; or it may be from Middle English jolywat (late 15c.) "a ship's small boat," of unknown origin.
- jolt (v.)
- 1590s (transitive), perhaps from Middle English jollen, chollen "to knock, to batter" (early 15c.), or an alteration of obsolete jot (v.) "to jostle" (1520s). Perhaps related to earlier jolt head "a big, stupid head" (1530s). Intransitive sense from 1703. Figurative sense of "to startle, surprise" is from 1872. Related: Jolted; jolting.
- jolt (n.)
- 1590s, "a knock," from jolt (v.). Meaning "a jarring shock" is from 1630s.
- jolt-head (n.)
- "a stupid head," 1530s; later also "a big, clumsy, stupid person." The origin and signification of jolt here is unknown.
- jolting (adj.)
- 1590s, present-participle adjective from jolt (v.). Related: Joltingly.
- masc. proper name, biblical prophet and subject of the Book of Jonah, from Hebrew Yonah, literally "dove, pigeon." In nautical use (and extended) "person on shipboard regarded as the cause of bad luck" (Jonah 1:v-xvi).
- masc. proper name, from Late Latin Jonas, from Greek Ionas, from Hebrew yonah "dove, pigeon" (compare Jonah).
- masc. proper name, biblical son of Saul, from Hebrew Yonathan, short for Yehonathan, literally "the Lord has given" (compare Nathan). Also compare (see John.
As a pre-Uncle Sam emblem of the United States, sometimes personified as Brother Jonathan, it dates from 1816. Traditionally it is said to be from George Washington's use of it in reference to Gov. Jonathan Trumbull Sr. of Connecticut (1710-1785), to whom he sometimes turned for advice (see 2 Sam. i:26); hence "a New Englander," and eventually "an American." But this story is only from the mid-19c. and is not supported by the record. There is some evidence that Loyalists and British soldiers used Jonathan to refer to the Americans in the Revolution, perhaps because it was a common New England name at the time (see Albert Matthews, "Brother Jonathan Once More," Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Transactions, 32 (1935), p. 374). As a variety of red apple it dates from 1831, so called because it was introduced in the U.S.
- surname, literally "John's (child);" see John. Phrase keep up with the Joneses (1917, American English) is from Keeping Up with the Joneses, the title of a popular newspaper comic strip by Arthur R. "Pop" Momand (1886-1987) which debuted in 1913 and chronicled the doings of the McGinnis family in its bid to match the living style of the Joneses. The slang sense "intense desire, addiction" (1968) probably arose from earlier use of Jones as a synonym for "heroin," presumably from the proper name, but the connection, if any, is obscure. Related: Jonesing.
- jongleur (n.)
- "wandering minstrel of medieval times," 1779, a revival in a technical sense (by modern historians and novelists) of Norman-French jongleur, a variant of Old French jogleor "minstrel, itinerant player; joker, juggler, clown" (12c.), from Latin ioculator "jester, joker" (see juggler).
- jonquil (n.)
- 1660s, species of narcissus, from French jonquille (17c.), from Spanish junquillo, diminutive of junco "rush, reed," from Latin iuncus "reed, rush," from Proto-Italic *joiniko-, from PIE *ioi-ni- (cognates: Middle Irish ain "reeds, rushes," Old Norse einir, Swedish en "juniper"). So called in reference to the form of its leaves.
From 1791 as the name of a pale yellow color, like that of the flower, and thus a type of canary bird (1865) of that color.
- jook (v.)
- "stoop or duck quickly; elude by darting or dodging," 1510s, Scottish, of unknown origin. Related: Jooked; jooking. Also see jouk.
- river in ancient Palestine; the crossing of it is symbolic of death in high-flown language as a reference to Num. xxxiii:51. Also a type of pot or vessel (late 14c.), especially a chamber-pot, but the sense there is unknown. The modern nation-state dates to 1921. Related: Jordanian.
- masc. proper name, from Spanish José, Spanish form of Joseph.
- masc. proper name, biblical son of Jacob and Rachel, and in the New Testament the name of the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus; from Late Latin Joseph, Josephus, from Greek Ioseph, from Hebrew Yoseph (also Yehoseph; see Ps. lxxxi:6) "adds, increases," causative of yasaph "he added." Its use in names of clothing and plants often is in reference to his "coat of many colors" (Gen. xxxvii:3).
- fem. proper name, from French Jósephine, fem. of Joseph. Another fem. form in English is Josepha.
- josh (v.)
- "to make fun of, to banter," 1845 (intransitive), 1852 (transitive), American English; according to "Dictionary of American Slang," the earliest example is capitalized, hence it is probably from the familiar version of the proper name Joshua. Perhaps it was taken as a typical name of an old farmer.
If those dates are correct, the word was in use earlier than the career of U.S. humorist Josh Billings, pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885), who did not begin to write and lecture until 1860; but his popularity after 1869 may have influence that of the word, or even re-coined it, as it does not seem to have been much in print before 1875.
About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment. ["Josh Billings"]
Related: Joshed; joshing.
- masc. proper name, biblical successor of Moses as leader of the Israelites, from Late Latin Jeshua, Joshua, a transliteration of Hebrew Yehoshua, literally "the Lord is salvation." In the top 10 list of names for boys in the U.S. since 1979. Joshua-tree (1867) is perhaps [OED] so called because its shape compared to pictures of Joshua brandishing a spear (Josh. viii:18).
- joss (n.)
- "Chinese figure of a deity," 1711, from Chinese Pidgin English, from Javanese dejos, a word formed 16c. from Portuguese deus "god," from Latin deus (see Zeus). Colloquially, it came to mean "luck." Joss-stick "Chinese incense" first recorded 1831.
- jostle (v.)
- 1540s, justle, "to knock against" (transitive), formed from jousten (see joust (v.)) + frequentative suffix -le. According to OED, the usual spelling 17c.-18c. was justle. An earlier meaning of the word was "to have sex with" (c. 1400). Meaning "contend for the best position or place" is from 1610s. Related: Jostled; jostling. As a noun from c. 1600.
- jot (n.)
- "the least part of anything," 1520s, from Latin iota, from Greek iota "the letter -i-," the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, also "the least part of anything" (see iota). Usually (and originally) with tittle, from Matt. v:18.
- jot (v.)
- "to make a short note of, set down quickly in writing or drawing," 1721, apparently from jot (n.) on the notion of a brief note or sketch. Related: Jotted; jotting.
- jota (n.)
- Spanish folk dance in three-quarter time, also la Jota Aragonesa (it seems to have originated in Aragon); by 1830 in English, of uncertain etymology.
- jotun (n.)
- "one of the race of giants in Scandinavian mythology," 1804, a word revived by scholars from Old Norse jotunn "a giant," from the common Germanic word (see ettin).
- joual (n.)
- "colloquial Canadian French," 1959, from "joual," the colloquial Canadian French pronunciation of French cheval "horse" (see cavalier (n.)). The term was brought to attention by Quebec journalist André Laurendeau.
- jouissance (n.)
- late 15c., "possession and use" (of something), from Old French joissance, from joissant "happy, glad," present participle of joir "to enjoy, take delight in, take pleasure in" (see enjoy). Meaning "enjoyment, joy, mirth" is from 1570s.
- jouk (v.)
- "stoop or duck quickly; elude by darting or dodging," c. 1500, alternative spelling of jook. Hence joukery "underhanded dealing" (1560s) and extended forms joukery-pawkery (1680s), joukery-cookery (1822).
- joule (n.)
- unit of electrical energy, 1882, coined in recognition of British physicist James P. Joule (1818-1889). The surname is a variant of Joel. Related: Joulemeter.
- jounce (v.)
- "to jolt or shake," especially by rough riding, mid-15c., of unknown origin, perhaps a blend of jump and bounce. "Several words in -ounce, as bounce, flounce, pounce, trounce are of obscure history" [OED]. Related: Jounced; jouncing. The noun is 1787, from the verb.
- journal (n.)
- mid-14c., "book of church services," from Anglo-French jurnal, from Old French jornel, "a day; time; a day's travel or work" (12c., Modern French journal), properly "that which takes place daily," noun use of adjective meaning "daily, of the day," from Late Latin diurnalis "daily" (see diurnal).
The meaning "book for inventories and daily accounts" is from late 15c. in English (14c. in French); that of "personal diary" is c. 1600, also from a sense developed in French. Meaning "daily publication" is from 1728. Classical Latin used diurnus for "of the day, by day," and also as a noun, "account-book, day-book."
Initial -d- in Latin usually remains in French, but according to Brachet, when it is followed by an -iu-, the -i- becomes consonantized as a -j- "and eventually ejects the d." He also cites jusque from de-usque.
- journalese (n.)
- "language typical of newspaper articles or headlines," 1882, from journal (n.) + -ese.
- journalism (n.)
- "business of writing, editing, or publishing a newspaper or public journal," 1821, regarded at first as a French word in English, from French journalisme (1781), from journal "daily publication" (see journal); compare journalist.
Where men are insulated they are easily oppressed; when roads become good, and intercourse is easy, their force is increased more than a hundred fold: when, without personal communication, their opinions can be interchanged, and the people thus become one mass, breathing one breath and one spirit, their might increases in a ratio of which it is difficult to find the measure or the limit. Journalism does this office .... ["New Monthly Magazine," London, 1831]
[Géo] London was in western France covering the trial of a parricide that began in mid-afternoon. Because he had an early deadline, he telephoned a story that he was certain would take place: an angry crowd cursing the accused as he was marched to the courthouse from his holding cell at the police station. London then relaxed over lunch until he saw with dismay the guards and the prisoner coming but "not even the shadow of a gawker." His reputation at stake, he stalked to the door, cried out, "Kill him!" and returned to his table. [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938"]
- journalist (n.)
- 1690s, "one whose work is to write or edit public journals or newspapers," from French journaliste (see journal (n.) + -ist). Journalier also occasionally has been used. Meaning "one who keeps a journal" is from 1712. Related: Journalistic. The verb journalize (1680s) usually is restricted to "make entry of in a journal or book."
- journey (n.)
- c. 1200, "a defined course of traveling; one's path in life," from Old French journée "a day's length; day's work or travel" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin diurnum "day," noun use of neuter of Latin diurnus "of one day" (see diurnal). The French fem, suffix -ée, from Latin -ata, was joined to nouns in French to make nouns expressing the quantity contained in the original noun, and thus also relations of times (soirée, matinée, année) or objects produced.
Meaning "act of traveling by land or sea" is c. 1300. In Middle English it also meant "a day" (c. 1400); a day's work (mid-14c.); "distance traveled in one day" (mid-13c.), and as recently as Johnson (1755) the primary sense was still "the travel of a day." From the Vulgar Latin word also come Spanish jornada, Italian giornata.
- journey (v.)
- mid-14c., "travel from one place to another," from Anglo-French journeyer, Old French journoiier "work by day; go, walk, travel," from journée "a day's work or travel" (see journey (n.)). Related: Journeyed; journeying.
- journeyman (n.)
- "qualified worker at a craft or trade who works for wages for another" (a position between apprentice and master), early 15c., from journey (n.), preserving the etymological sense of the word ("a day"), + man (n.). Deprecatory figurative sense of "hireling, drudge" is from 1540s. Its American English colloquial shortening jour (adj.) is attested from 1835.
- journeyman (adj.)
- late 15c., from journeyman (n.).
- joust (v.)
- c. 1300, "fight with a spear or lance on horseback with another knight; tilt in a tournament," from Old French joster "to joust, tilt, fight in single combat," from Vulgar Latin *iuxtare "to approach, come together, meet," originally "be next to," from Latin iuxta "beside, next to, very near," related to iungere "join together" (see jugular). Formerly spelled, and according to OED until modern times pronounced, "just." Related: Jousted; jouster; jousting.
- joust (n.)
- "single combat with lances by riders on horseback," c. 1300, from Old French joste "a jounst, single combat" (12c., Modern French joute), from joster "fight with, engage in single combat" (see joust (v.)). The sport was popular with Anglo-Norman knights; the usual form in Middle English and Old French was plural, in reference to a series of contests and the accompanying revelry.
These early tournaments were very rough affairs, in every sense, quite unlike the chivalrous contests of later days; the rival parties fought in groups, and it was considered not only fair but commendable to hold off until you saw some of your adversaries getting tired and then to join in the attack on them; the object was not to break a lance in the most approved style, but frankly to disable as many opponents as possible for the sake of obtaining their horses, arms, and ransoms. [L.F. Salzman, "English Life in the Middle Ages," Oxford, 1950]
- Roman god of the bright sky, also a poetical name of the planet Jupiter, late 14c., from Latin Iovis, from PIE *dyeu- "to shine," with derivatives referring to the sky, heavens, a god (see diurnal, and compare Zeus). In classical Latin, the compound Iuppiter replaced Old Latin Iovis as the god's name (see Jupiter). Old English had it as Iob.
- jovial (adj.)
- 1580s, "under the influence of the planet Jupiter," from Middle French jovial (16c.), from Italian joviale, literally "pertaining to Jupiter," and directly from Late Latin Iovialis "of Jupiter," from Latin Iovius (used as genitive of Iuppiter) "of or pertaining to Jupiter," Roman god of the sky (see Jove). The meaning "good-humored, merry," is from the astrological belief that those born under the sign of the planet Jupiter are of such dispositions. Related: Jovially.
- joviality (n.)
- 1620s, from French jovialite (17c.), from jovial (see jovial).
- Jovian (adj.)
- 1520s, "of Jove," from Late Latin Iovianus, from Latin Iovis (see Jove) + -ian. Meaning "of the planet Jupiter" is recorded from 1794. Classical Latin Iovianus was a masculine proper name.
- Jovicentric (adj.)
- "with (the planet) Jupiter at the center," 1826; see Jove + -centric.