- jukebox (n.)
- also juke-box, "machine that automatically plays selected recorded music when a coin is inserted," 1939, earlier jook organ (1937), from jook joint "roadhouse, brothel" (1935), African-American vernacular, from juke, joog "wicked, disorderly," a word in Gullah (the creolized English of the coastlands of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida). This is probably from an African source, such as Wolof and Bambara dzug "unsavory." The adjective is said to have originated in central Florida (see "A Note on Juke," Florida Review, vol. vii, no. 3, spring 1938). The spelling with a -u- might represent a deliberate attempt to put distance between the word and its origins.
For a long time the commercial juke trade resisted the name juke box and even tried to raise a big publicity fund to wage a national campaign against it, but "juke box" turned out to be the biggest advertising term that could ever have been invented for the commercial phonograph and spread to the ends of the world during the war as American soldiers went abroad but remembered the juke boxes back home. ["Billboard," Sept. 15, 1945]