jolliness (n.) Look up jolliness at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from jolly + -ness.
jollity (n.) Look up jollity at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, jolyfte, iolite, from Old French jolivete "gaity, cheerfulness; amorous passion; life of pleasure," from jolif (see jolly).
jolly (adj.) Look up jolly at Dictionary.com
c. 1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French jolif "festive, merry, amorous, pretty" (12c.) of uncertain origin (cognate with Italian giulivo "merry, pleasant").

Perhaps a Germanic loan-word from a source akin to Old Norse jol "a winter feast" (see yule), or from Latin gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- "to rejoice" (see joy). For loss of -f, compare tardy, hasty. Related: Jollily; jolliness.
jolly boat (n.) Look up jolly boat at Dictionary.com
1727, of unknown origin, probably from Danish jolle (17c.) or Dutch jol (1680s), both related to yawl; or it may be from Middle English jolywat (late 15c.) "a ship's small boat," of unknown origin.
jolt (n.) Look up jolt at Dictionary.com
1590s, "a knock," from jolt (v.). Meaning "jarring shock" is from 1630s.
jolt (v.) Look up jolt at Dictionary.com
1590s, perhaps from Middle English jollen, chollen "to knock, to batter" (early 15c.), or an alteration of obsolete jot (v.) "to jostle" (1520s). Perhaps related to earlier jolt head "a big, stupid head" (1530s). Figurative sense of "to startle, surprise" is from 1872. Related: Jolted; jolting.
Jonah Look up Jonah at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, biblical prophet, from Hebrew Yonah, literally "dove, pigeon."
Jonas Look up Jonas at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Late Latin Jonas, from Greek Ionas, from Hebrew yonah "dove, pigeon" (compare Jonah).
Jonathan Look up Jonathan at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, biblical son of Saul, from Hebrew Yonathan, short for Yehonathan, literally "the Lord has given" (compare Nathan). As a pre-Uncle Sam emblem of the United States, sometimes personified as Brother Jonathan, it dates from 1816, said to have been applied by Washington to Gov. Jonathan Trumbull Sr. of Connecticut (1710-1785), to whom he sometimes turned for advice (see 2 Sam. i:26); hence "a New Englander," and eventually "an American." As a variety of red apple it dates from 1831, so called because it was introduced in the U.S.
Jones Look up Jones at Dictionary.com
surname, literally "John's (child);" see John. Phrase keep up with the Joneses (1913, American English) is from the title of a comic strip by Arthur R. Momand. The slang sense "intense desire, addiction" (1968) probably arose from earlier use of Jones as a synonym for "heroin," presumably from the proper name, but the connection, if any, is obscure. Related: Jonesing.
jongleur (n.) Look up jongleur at Dictionary.com
"wandering minstrel," 1779, from Norman-French jongleur, variant of Old French jogleor, from Latin ioculator "jester, joker" (see juggler). Revived in a technical sense by modern writers.
jonquil (n.) Look up jonquil at Dictionary.com
1660s, species of narcissus, from French jonquille (17c.), from Spanish junquillo, diminutive of junco "rush, reed," from Latin iuncus "reed, rush," from Proto-Italic *joiniko-, from PIE *ioi-ni- (cognates: Middle Irish ain "reeds, rushes," Old Norse einir, Swedish en "juniper"). So called in reference to its leaves. The type of canary bird (1865) is so called for its pale yellow color, which is like that of the flower.
jook (v.) Look up jook at Dictionary.com
"dodge, duck," 1510s, Scottish, of unknown origin. Related: Jooked; jooking.
Jordan Look up Jordan at Dictionary.com
river in ancient Palestine; the crossing of it is symbolic of death in high-flown language as a reference to Num. xxxiii:51. The modern nation-state dates to 1921.
Jose Look up Jose at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Spanish José, Spanish form of Joseph.
Joseph Look up Joseph at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, biblical son of Jacob and Rachel, from Late Latin Joseph, Josephus, from Greek Ioseph, from Hebrew Yoseph (also Yehoseph; see Ps. lxxxi:6) "adds, increases," causative of yasaph "he added." Its use in names of clothing and plants often is in reference to his "coat of many colors."
Josephine Look up Josephine at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from French Jósephine, fem. of Joseph. Another feminized form of it is Josepha.
josh (v.) Look up josh at Dictionary.com
"to make fun of, to banter," 1845, American English; according to "Dictionary of American Slang," the earliest example is capitalized, hence it is probably from the familiar version of the proper name Joshua, but just which Joshua, or why, is long forgotten. Perhaps it was taken as a typical name of an old farmer. The word was in use earlier than the career of U.S. humorist Josh Billings, pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885), who did not begin to write and lecture until 1860; but his popularity after 1869 may have influence that of the word.
About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment. ["Josh Billings"]
Related: Joshed; joshing.
Joshua Look up Joshua at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, biblical successor of Moses, from Late Latin Jeshua, Joshua, a transliteration of Hebrew Yehoshua, literally "the Lord is salvation." Joshua tree (1867) is perhaps so called because its shape compared to pictures of Joshua brandishing a spear (Josh. viii:18). In the top 10 list of names for boys in the U.S. since 1979.
joss (n.) Look up joss at Dictionary.com
"Chinese figure of a deity," 1711, from Chinese Pidgin English, from Javanese dejos, taken 16c. from Portuguese deus "god," from Latin deus (see Zeus). Colloquially, it came to mean "luck." Joss stick "Chinese incense" first recorded 1883.
jostle (v.) Look up jostle at Dictionary.com
1540s, justle, "to knock against," formed from jousten (see joust) + frequentative suffix -tle. The usual spelling 17c.-18c. was justle. An earlier meaning of the word was "to have sex with" (c. 1400). Meaning "to contend for the best position or place" is from 1610s. Related: Jostled; jostling. As a noun from c. 1600.
jot (n.) Look up jot at Dictionary.com
1520s, borrowing of Latin jota, variant spelling of Greek iota "the letter -i-," the smallest letter in the alphabet, hence the least part of anything (see iota).
jot (v.) Look up jot at Dictionary.com
"to make a short note of," 1721, from jot (n.). Related: Jotted; jotting.
jota (n.) Look up jota at Dictionary.com
Spanish folk dance; by 1846, of uncertain etymology.
jotun (n.) Look up jotun at Dictionary.com
1842, a word revived from Old Norse jotunn (see ettin).
jouissance (n.) Look up jouissance at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Old French jouissance, from jouissant, present participle of joir "to enjoy" (see enjoy).
jouk (v.) Look up jouk at Dictionary.com
see jook.
joule (n.) Look up joule at Dictionary.com
unit of electrical energy, 1882, coined in recognition of British physicist James P. Joule (1818-1889).
jounce (v.) Look up jounce at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., of unknown origin, perhaps a blend of jump and bounce. Related: Jounced; jouncing. The noun is 1787, from the verb.
journal (n.) Look up journal at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "book of church services," from Anglo-French jurnal "a day," from Old French jornel, "day, time; day's work," noun use of adjective meaning "daily," from Late Latin diurnalis "daily" (see diurnal). Meaning "book for inventories and daily accounts" is late 15c.; that of "personal diary" is c. 1600, from a sense found in French. Meaning "daily publication" is from 1728. Initial -d- in Latin usually remains in French, but according to Brachet, when it is followed by an -iu-, the -i- becomes consonantized as a -j- "and eventually ejects the d." He also cites jusque from de-usque.
journalism (n.) Look up journalism at Dictionary.com
1821, regarded as a French word at first, from French journalisme (1781), from journal (see journal).
Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it. [Horace Greely (1811-1872), U.S. journalist]
Journalese "language typical of newspaper articles or headlines" is from 1882.
Where men are insulated they are easily oppressed; when roads become good, and intercourse is easy, their force is increased more than a hundred fold: when, without personal communication, their opinions can be interchanged, and the people thus become one mass, breathing one breath and one spirit, their might increases in a ratio of which it is difficult to find the measure or the limit. Journalism does this office .... ["New Monthly Magazine," London, 1831]



[Géo] London was in western France covering the trial of a parricide that began in mid-afternoon. Because he had an early deadline, he telephoned a story that he was certain would take place: an angry crowd cursing the accused as he was marched to the courthouse from his holding cell at the police station. London then relaxed over lunch until he saw with dismay the guards and the prisoner coming but "not even the shadow of a gawker." His reputation at stake, he stalked to the door, cried out, "Kill him!" and returned to his table. [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938"]
journalist (n.) Look up journalist at Dictionary.com
1690s, "one whose work is to write or edit public journals or newspapers," from journal + -ist. Meaning "one who keeps a journal" is from 1712. Related: Journalistic.
journey (v.) Look up journey at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "travel from one place to another," from Anglo-French journeyer, Old French journoier, from journee (see journey (n.)). Related: Journeyed; journeying.
journey (n.) Look up journey at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "a defined course of traveling; one's path in life," from Old French journee "day's work or travel" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin diurnum "day," noun use of neuter of Latin diurnus "of one day" (see diurnal). Meaning "act of traveling by land or sea" is c. 1300. In Middle English it also meant "a day" (c. 1400); a day's work (mid-14c.); "distance traveled in one day" (mid-13c.), and as recently as Johnson (1755) the primary sense was still "the travel of a day."
journeyman (n.) Look up journeyman at Dictionary.com
"qualified worker at a craft or trade who works for wages for another" (a position between apprentice and master), early 15c., from journey (n.), preserving the etymological sense of the word, + man (n.). Figurative depricatory sense of "hireling, drudge" is from 1540s. Its American English colloquial shortening jour (adj.) is attested from 1835.
joust (n.) Look up joust at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French joustes, from joster (see joust (v.)). The sport was popular with Anglo-Norman knights.
These early tournaments were very rough affairs, in every sense, quite unlike the chivalrous contests of later days; the rival parties fought in groups, and it was considered not only fair but commendable to hold off until you saw some of your adversaries getting tired and then to join in the attack on them; the object was not to break a lance in the most approved style, but frankly to disable as many opponents as possible for the sake of obtaining their horses, arms, and ransoms. [L.F. Salzman, "English Life in the Middle Ages," Oxford, 1950]
joust (v.) Look up joust at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "fight with a spear or lance on horseback with another knight; tilt in a tournament," from Old French joster "to joust, tilt," from Vulgar Latin *iuxtare "to approach, come together, meet," originally "be next to," from Latin iuxta "beside, near," related to iungere "join together" (see jugular). Formerly spelled, and until modern times pronounced, "just." Related: Jousted; jousting.
Jove Look up Jove at Dictionary.com
Roman god of the bright sky, late 14c., from Latin Iovis, from PIE *dyeu- "to shine," with derivatives referring to the sky, heavens, a god (see diurnal, and compare Zeus). In classical Latin, the compound Iuppiter replaced Old Latin Iovis as the god's name.
jovial (adj.) Look up jovial at Dictionary.com
1580s, "under the influence of the planet Jupiter," from Middle French jovial (16c.), from Italian joviale, literally "pertaining to Jupiter," and directly from Latin Iovialis "of Jupiter," from Iovius (used as genitive of Iuppiter) "Jupiter," Roman god of the sky (see Jove). The meaning "good-humored, merry," is from astrological belief that those born under the sign of the planet Jupiter are of such dispositions. Related: Jovially.
joviality (n.) Look up joviality at Dictionary.com
1620s, from French jovialite, from jovial (see jovial).
Jovian (adj.) Look up Jovian at Dictionary.com
1520s, "of Jove," from Latin Jovis (see Jove) + -ian. Meaning "of the planet Jupiter" is recorded from 1794. Latin Jovianus was a masculine proper name.
jowl (n.2) Look up jowl at Dictionary.com
"fold of flesh under the jaw," 1590s, alteration of Middle English cholle "fold of flesh hanging from the jaw" (c. 1300), perhaps from Old English ceole "throat," from PIE root *gwele- (3) "to swallow" (see glut (v.)). This word and jowl (n.1) influenced one another in form and sense.
jowl (n.1) Look up jowl at Dictionary.com
"jaw," 1570s, alteration of Middle English chawl (late 14c.), chavel (early 14c.), from Old English ceafl, from Proto-Germanic *kefalaz (cognates: Middle High German kiver, German kiefer, Old Norse kjoptr "jaw," Danish kæft, Flemish kavel, Dutch kevel "gum"), from PIE *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (cognates: Old Irish gop, Irish gob "beak, mouth"). The change from ch- to j- has not been explained.
joy (n.) Look up joy at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "feeling of pleasure and delight;" c. 1300, "source of pleasure or happiness," from Old French joie (11c.), from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium "joy," from gaudere "rejoice," from PIE root *gau- "to rejoice" (cognates: Greek gaio "I rejoice," Middle Irish guaire "noble"). Joy-riding is American English, 1908.
Joyce Look up Joyce at Dictionary.com
proper name, earlier Josse, Goce, etc., and originally used of both men and women. Of Celtic origin. Joycean, in reference to the fiction of Irish writer James Joyce (1882-1941) is attested from 1927.
joyful (adj.) Look up joyful at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from joy + -ful. Related: Joyfully; joyfulness.
joyless (adj.) Look up joyless at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from joy + -less. Related: Joylessly; joylessness.
joyous (adj.) Look up joyous at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Anglo-French joyous, Old French joios "happy, cheerful, merry, glad" (12c., Modern French joyeux), from joie (see joy). Related: Joyously; joyousness.
joystick (n.) Look up joystick at Dictionary.com
also joy stick, 1910, aviators' slang for the control lever of an airplane, from joy + stick (n.).
Juan Look up Juan at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, Spanish form of John.