every man jack, everyone without exception: They presented a formidable opposition, every man jack of them.

Origin of jack

1350–1400; Middle English jakke, Jakke used in addressing any male, especially a social inferior, variant of Jakken, variant of Jankin, equivalent to Jan John + -kin -kin; extended in sense to anything male, and as a designation for a variety of inanimate objects



verb (used with object) Slang.

to steal: Some neighborhood kids jacked her car and took it for a joyride.Hackers jacked my email account in a phishing scam.
to rob: He got jacked on his way home from the club.

Origin of jack

First recorded in 1930–35; shortening of hijack Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jacking

Historical Examples of jacking

  • He came erect in a quick scramble, jacking in a fresh round as he did so.

    Cat and Mouse

    Ralph Williams

  • In some machines, inside the base, there is what is called a "jacking ring."

    Steam Turbines

    Hubert E. Collins

  • “No, not yet,” he replied, jacking himself painfully to his feet.

    The Spring of the Year

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • He'd let you tell him to go to hell and never think of jacking you up for it.

    West Wind Drift

    George Barr McCutcheon

  • I wrote to the detective firm, as I said I would, jacking them up a bit.

British Dictionary definitions for jacking



I'm all right, Jack British informal
  1. a remark indicating smug and complacent selfishness
  2. (as modifier)an ``I'm all right, Jack'' attitude




a man or fellow
a sailor
the male of certain animals, esp of the ass or donkey
a mechanical or hydraulic device for exerting a large force, esp to raise a heavy weight such as a motor vehicle
any of several mechanical devices that replace manpower, such as a contrivance for rotating meat on a spit
one of four playing cards in a pack, one for each suit, bearing the picture of a young prince; knave
bowls a small usually white bowl at which the players aim with their own bowls
electrical engineering a female socket with two or more terminals designed to receive a male plug (jack plug) that either makes or breaks the circuit or circuits
a flag, esp a small flag flown at the bow of a ship indicating the ship's nationalityCompare Union Jack
nautical either of a pair of crosstrees at the head of a topgallant mast used as standoffs for the royal shrouds
a part of the action of a harpsichord, consisting of a fork-shaped device on the end of a pivoted lever on which a plectrum is mounted
any of various tropical and subtropical carangid fishes, esp those of the genus Caranx, such as C. hippos (crevalle jack)
Also called: jackstone one of the pieces used in the game of jacks
US a slang word for money
every man jack everyone without exception
the jack Australian slang venereal disease


jack of Australian slang tired or fed up with (something)

verb (tr)

to lift or push (an object) with a jack
electrical engineering to connect (an electronic device) with another by means of a jack and a jack plug
Also: jacklight US and Canadian to hunt (fish or game) by seeking them out or dazzling them with a flashlight
See also jack in, jacks, jack up

Word Origin for jack

C16 jakke, variant of Jankin, diminutive of John





short for jackfruit

Word Origin for jack

C17: from Portuguese jaca; see jackfruit




a short sleeveless coat of armour of the Middle Ages, consisting usually of a canvas base with metal plates
archaic a drinking vessel, often of leather

Word Origin for jack

C14: from Old French jaque, of uncertain 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

Word Origin and History for jacking


masc. proper name, 1218, probably an anglicization of Old French Jacques (which was a diminutive of Latin Jacobus; see Jacob), but in English the name always has been associated with Johan, Jan "John," and some have argued that it is a native formation.

Alliterative coupling of Jack and Jill is from 15c. (Ienken and Iulyan). In England, applied familiarly or contemptuously to anybody (especially one of the lower classes) from late 14c. Later used especially of sailors (1650s; Jack-tar is from 1781). In U.S., as a generic name addressed to an unknown stranger, attested from 1889.



late 14c., jakke "a mechanical device," from the masc. name Jack. The proper name was used in Middle English for "any common fellow" (mid-14c.), and thereafter extended to various appliances replacing servants (1570s). Used generically of men (jack-of-all-trades, 1610s), male animals (1620s, see jackass, jackdaw, etc.), and male personifications (1520s, e.g. Jack Frost, 1826).

As the name of a device for pulling off boots, from 1670s. The jack in a pack of playing cards (1670s) is in German Bauer "peasant." Jack shit "nothing at all" is attested by 1968, U.S. slang. The plant jack-in-the-pulpit is attested by 1837. Jack the Ripper was active in London 1888. The jack of Union Jack is a nautical term for "small flag at the bow of a ship" (1630s).



1860, jack up "hoist, raise," American English, from the noun (see jack (n.)). Figurative sense "increase (prices, etc.)" is 1904, American English. Related: Jacked; jacking. Jack off (v.) "to masturbate" is attested from 1916, probably from jack (n.) in the sense of "penis."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with jacking


In addition to the idioms beginning with jack

  • jack off
  • jack up

also see:

  • before you can say Jack Robinson
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.