- England; the English people.
- the typical Englishman.
Origin of John Bull
1705–15; named after John Bull, chief character in Arbuthnot's allegory The History of John Bull (1712)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for john bull
- a personification of England or the English people
- a typical Englishman
C18: name of a character intended to be representative of the English nation in The History of John Bull (1712) by John Arbuthnot
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 john bull
"Englishman who exemplifies the national character," 1772, from name of a character representing the English nation in Arbuthnot's satire "History of John Bull" (1712).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.