[ jey-haw-ker ]
/ ˈdʒeɪˌhɔ kər /


a native or inhabitant of Kansas (used as a nickname).
(sometimes lowercase) a plundering marauder, especially one of the antislavery guerrillas in Kansas, Missouri, and other border states before and during the Civil War.

Origin of Jayhawker

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60; of uncertain origin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jayhawker

Word Origin and History for jayhawker



American English, 1858, originally "freebooter, guerrilla, Kansas irregular" (especially one who came from the North). Hence back-formed verb jayhawk "harass" (1866).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper