[ jak-uh-neyps ]
/ ˈdʒæk əˌneɪps /


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. 2019

Examples from the Web for jackanapes

British Dictionary definitions for jackanapes


/ (ˈdʒækəˌneɪps) /


a conceited impertinent person
a mischievous child
archaic a monkey

Word Origin for jackanapes

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



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