noun, plural jim-dan·dies.
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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?
Example sentences from the Web for jim-dandy
Now, Ill show you what a jim-dandy architect nature is, said Percy.The Motor Maids' School Days|Katherine Stokes
Well, that one of the moose poking his head between the little trees is a jim-dandy, let me tell you!Phil Bradley's Mountain Boys|Silas K. Boone
You'd better appreciate it, for it's going to be a jim-dandy one.Hope Hathaway|Frances Parker
Above all things youve got to snap him off, if you want a jim-dandy card for your exhibit, to stun the boys at home.The Broncho Rider Boys Along the Border|Frank Fowler
Well, it's a regular Jim-dandy cracker-jack—some swell clump, eh?The Definite Object|Jeffery Farnol