Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

jingo

[jing-goh]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural jin·goes.
  1. a person who professes his or her patriotism loudly and excessively, favoring vigilant preparedness for war and an aggressive foreign policy; bellicose chauvinist.
  2. English History. a Conservative supporter of Disraeli's policy in the Near East during the period 1877–78.
adjective
  1. of jingoes.
  2. characterized by jingoism.
Idioms
  1. by jingo! Informal. (an exclamation used to emphasize the truth or importance of a foregoing statement, or to express astonishment, approval, etc.): I know you can do it, by jingo!

Origin of jingo

1660–70; orig. conjurer's call hey jingo appear! come forth! (opposed to hey presto hasten away!), taken into general use in the phrase by Jingo, euphemism for by God; chauvinistic sense from by Jingo in political song supporting use of British forces against Russia in 1878
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jingo

Historical Examples

  • There's the coach, by Jingo, three bays and a grey—no chance of the box—is this a hat?

    Frank Fairlegh

    Frank E. Smedley

  • By jingo, I think he might say ‘splice the main brace’ now, after all this jollification!

    Crown and Anchor

    John Conroy Hutcheson

  • By jingo, I never saw such a pack of young gamecocks in my life.

    Crown and Anchor

    John Conroy Hutcheson

  • They are not suspicious of our intentions in spite of what jingo papers say.

  • Jingo first appears in conjurors' jargon of the 17th century.


British Dictionary definitions for jingo

jingo

noun plural -goes
  1. a loud and bellicose patriot; chauvinist
  2. jingoism
  3. by jingo an exclamation of surprise
Derived Formsjingoish, adjective

Word Origin

C17: originally perhaps a euphemism for Jesus; applied to bellicose patriots after the use of by Jingo! in the refrain of a 19th-century music-hall song
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 jingo

n.

"mindless, gung-ho patriot," 1878, picked up from the refrain of a music hall song written by G.W. Hunt, and sung by "Gilbert H. MacDermott" (1845-1901), supporting aggressive British policy toward Russia at a time of international tension. ("We don't want to fight, But by Jingo! if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, We've got the money too.")

Hunt's patriotic song of 1878, with a swinging tune ... became at Macdermott's instigation the watchword of the popular supporters of England's bellicose policy. The "Daily News" on 11 March 1878 first dubbed the latter 'Jingoes' in derision .... ["Dictionary of National Biography," London, 1912]

As an asseveration, it was in colloquial use since 1690s, and is apparently yet another euphemism for Jesus, influenced by conjurer's gibberish presto-jingo (1660s). The frequent suggestion that it somehow derives from Basque Jinko "god" is "not impossible," but "as yet unsupported by evidence" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper