- an impertinent, presumptuous person, especially a young man; whippersnapper.
- an impudent, mischievous child.
- 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
That if Jackanapes and Lollo were not burdened with him they would undoubtedly escape.
"You're too tall for Lollo, I think," said Jackanapes, measuring his grandfather with his eye.
Tony was not enterprising, and Jackanapes led him by the nose.
At the first opportunity Jackanapes stole away again to the common.
What mischief could be foreseen, Jackanapes promised to guard against.
- a conceited impertinent person
- a mischievous child
- archaic a monkey
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
Word Origin and History for jackanapes
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper