Origin of jim-dandy
Words nearby jim-dandy
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does jim-dandy mean?
Jim-dandy is an old-timey way to call someone or something great.
It’s most commonly used as an adjective, as in That pie was jim-dandy! But it can also be used as a noun, as in That pie was a jim-dandy!
The adjective dandy by itself, meaning “excellent” or “first-rate,” is a close synonym.
Jim-dandy is also sometimes spelled jim dandy (without the hyphen).
Where does jim-dandy come from?
The first records of jim-dandy come from the late 1800s. There is no definitive evidence, but the term may have originated with “Dandy Jim of Caroline,” a popular minstrel song from around 1843 or 1844. Like many minstrel songs (which were often performed in blackface), it is written in a faux African American dialect and contains racist slurs and stereotypes. The word dandy is recorded earlier, in the 1700s. Its origin is also uncertain, but its original use was as a noun referring to a man overly concerned with his appearance (close synonyms are fop and beau). The Jim in “Dandy Jim of Caroline” is a Black man who’s depicted as handsome and well-dressed in a way that’s intended to be humorous based on the racist notion that fancy dress is too high class for Black people.
The connection between the term jim-dandy and the song isn’t certain, and most people who use it aren’t aware of any potential association. It’s typically used as a somewhat old-fashioned and silly way to say “excellent,” much like mighty fine.
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What are some other forms related to jim-dandy?
- jim dandy (alternate spelling)
What are some words that share a root or word element with jim-dandy?
How to use jim-dandy in a sentence
“Barbarism,” said retired NYPD Officer Jim Smith on Thursday.
Michigan supposedly offered 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh a $42 million contract, which would him the highest-paid coach in the NCAA.Is Any College Football Coach Worth $60 Million? Jim Harbaugh Is|Jesse Lawrence|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There was nothing out of the ordinary, but for the fact that Jim was gay.
I was bored, but I grabbed a red Solo cup, filled it with beer, and stayed with my group, chatting with the brothers about Jim.
Jim had to cajole me, as it was already late, and I was lounging around in sweats, book in hand.
"So that is Jim Poindexter, the bloody villain," muttered the boy between his set teeth, and nervously fingering his revolver.The Courier of the Ozarks|Byron A. Dunn
The poor dandy showed a pair of straight coat-tails instanter, and the whole table joined in a "tremenjous" roar.
She has about as much intention of eloping with him as a little girl might have of eloping with a pasteboard Jim Crow.
If you were to have a frank explanation with her, Blanche would very soon throw Jim Crow out of the window.
He wrote the fine poem of “Little Jim,” which everyone knew, and which almost every boy and girl could recite.