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jackanapes

[jak-uh-neyps]
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noun
  1. an impertinent, presumptuous person, especially a young man; whippersnapper.
  2. an impudent, mischievous child.
  3. Archaic. an ape or monkey.

Origin of jackanapes

1400–50; late Middle English Jakken-apes, literally, jack (i.e., man) of the ape, nickname of William de la Pole (1396–1450), Duke of Suffolk, whose badge was an ape's clog and chain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jackanapes

Historical Examples

  • That if Jackanapes and Lollo were not burdened with him they would undoubtedly escape.

    Jackanapes

    Juliana Horatio Ewing

  • "You're too tall for Lollo, I think," said Jackanapes, measuring his grandfather with his eye.

    Jackanapes

    Juliana Horatio Ewing

  • Tony was not enterprising, and Jackanapes led him by the nose.

    Jackanapes

    Juliana Horatio Ewing

  • At the first opportunity Jackanapes stole away again to the common.

    Jackanapes

    Juliana Horatio Ewing

  • What mischief could be foreseen, Jackanapes promised to guard against.

    Jackanapes

    Juliana Horatio Ewing


British Dictionary definitions for jackanapes

jackanapes

noun
  1. a conceited impertinent person
  2. a mischievous child
  3. archaic a monkey

Word Origin

C16: variant of Jakken-apes, literally: Jack of the ape, nickname of William de la Pole (1396–1450), first Duke of Suffolk, whose badge showed an ape's ball and chain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for jackanapes

n.

mid-15c., "a monkey," also "an impertinent, conceited fellow;" apparently from Jack of Naples, but whether this is some specific personification or folk etymology of jack (n.) + ape is unknown. See note in OED.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper