Origin of jiggers

perhaps jigger, as in jiggered + -s3


  1. a person or thing that jigs.
  2. Nautical.
    1. the lowermost sail set on a jiggermast.
    2. jiggermast.
    3. a light tackle, as a gun tackle.
  3. any of various mechanical devices, many of which have a jerky or jolting motion.
  4. Informal. some contrivance, article, or part that one cannot or does not name more precisely: What is that little jigger on the pistol?
  5. Ceramics. a machine for forming plates or the like in a plaster mold rotating beneath a template.
  6. Mining. a jig for separating ore.
  7. a jig for fishing.
  8. Golf. a club with an iron head intermediate between a mashie and a midiron, now rarely used.
  9. Billiards, Pool. a bridge.
    1. a 1½-oz. (45-ml) measure used in cocktail recipes.
    2. a small whiskey glass holding 1½ ounces (45 ml).

Origin of jigger

First recorded in 1665–75; jig1 + -er1


  1. Also called jigger flea. chigoe.
  2. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. chigger.

Origin of jigger

First recorded in 1750–60; variant of chigger


verb (used with object)
  1. to interfere with.
  2. to manipulate or alter, especially in order to get something done illegally or unethically: to jigger company records to conceal a loss.

Origin of jigger

1865–70; jig2 (in verbal sense) + -er6
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jiggers

Contemporary Examples of jiggers

Historical Examples of jiggers

  • "The Jiggers are peach, soft and creamy," said Snorky with a pensive look.

    Skippy Bedelle

    Owen Johnson

  • Jiggers are used to jerk fish from the water where there is no bait.

  • The men who do this work are called “jiggers” and they call the sieves “baby.”

  • The only cars that ran out there were those little "jiggers."


    Walter Jones

  • I can do just the plain little scallop; but I never could get these other jiggers!

    Hope Mills

    Amanda M. Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for jiggers


  1. a person or thing that jigs
  2. golf an iron, now obsolete, with a thin blade, used for hitting long shots from a bare lie
  3. any of a number of mechanical devices having a vibratory or jerking motion
  4. a light lifting tackle used on ships
  5. a small glass, esp for whisky, with a capacity of about one and a half ounces
  6. NZ a light hand- or power-propelled vehicle used on railway lines
  7. engineering a type of hydraulic lift in which a hydraulic ram operates the lift through a block and tackle which increases the length of the stroke
  8. Canadian a device used when setting a gill net beneath ice
  9. mining another word for jig (def. 5)
  10. nautical short for jiggermast
  11. billiards another word for bridge 1 (def. 10)
  12. US and Canadian informal a device or thing the name of which is unknown or temporarily forgotten
  13. Liverpool dialect an alleyway



jigger flea

  1. other names for the chigoe (def. 1)
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 jiggers



"1.5-ounce shot glass," 1836, American English, in early use also of the drink itself, from jigger "illicit distillery" (1824), of unknown origin; or else perhaps from jigger, a 1756 alteration of chigger "tiny mite or flea." As a name for various appliances, the word is attested by 1825, from jig.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

jiggers in Medicine


  1. chigger
  2. chigoe
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.