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[juh-lop-ee] /dʒəˈlɒp i/
noun, plural jalopies. Informal.
an old, decrepit, or unpretentious automobile.
Origin of jalopy
An Americanism dating back to 1925-30; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jalopy
Historical Examples
  • It looked something like a cross between a schoolboy's jalopy and a scaled-down army tank of former times.

    Badge of Infamy Lester del Rey
  • Then they hit the thruway—nine of them packed into the jalopy—the oldest one just seventeen years old.

    Code Three Rick Raphael
British Dictionary definitions for jalopy


noun (pl) -lopies, -loppies
(informal) a dilapidated old car
Word Origin
C20: of unknown origin
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
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Word Origin and History for jalopy

"battered old automobile," 1924 (early variants include jaloupy, jaloppi, gillopy), of unknown origin; perhaps from Jalapa, Mexico, where many U.S. used cars supposedly were sent (see jalapeno).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jalopy



  1. An old and battered car or airplane; heap: A jalopy is a model one step above a ''junker''
  2. Any car; any vehicle; buggy: Let them search every jalop on the road

[1924+; origin unknown; perhaps fr Jalapa, a Mexican city to which many US used cars were sent]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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