1776, "dense growth of trees and other tangled vegetation," such as that of some regions in India, from Hindi jangal "desert, forest, wasteland, uncultivated ground," from Sanskrit jangala-s "arid, sparsely grown with trees," a word of unknown origin.
Extended by 1849 to other places overgrown by vegetation in a wild, tangled mass. Figurative sense "wild, tangled mass" of anything is from 1850. Meaning "place notoriously lawless and violent" is first recorded 1906, from Upton Sinclair's novel. Meaning "hobo camp" is from 1908.
Asphalt jungle (1949) is from William R. Burnett's novel title, made into a film 1950 by John Huston; blackboard jungle (1954) is from Evan Hunter's novel title and 1955 movie. Jungle fever "remittent malignant fever prevalent in India and tropical regions" is from 1803. Jungle gym appears in advertisements from 1921, originally one word, made by Junglegym Inc., Chicago, U.S. Jungle bunny, derogatory for "black person," is attested by 1966.
1590s, from Spanish El Dorado "the golden one," name given 16c. to the country or city believed to lie in the heart of the Amazon jungle, from past participle of dorar "to gild," from Latin deaurare "to gild, to gild over," from de-, here probably intensive, + aurare "to gild," from aurum "gold" (see aureate). The story originated with the early Spanish explorers, and the place was sought for down to the 18th century.
"one who leads a military patrol in formation in a jungle, etc.," 1944, said to be from point (n.) in military sense of "small leading party of an advance guard" (1580s) + man (n.). A more literal sense also is possible. Point (n.) in U.S. also meant "position at the front of a herd of cattle," and pointman in this sense is attested by 1903.
also maneater, c. 1600, "a cannibal," from man (n.) + eater. By 1829 in reference to the great white shark; by 1840 of tigers in India that have acquired a taste for human flesh and have a special propensity for killing and eating humans; later also of lions. Also used of horses that tend to bite (1840). By 1906 of women (the female equivalent of a womanizer). Related: Man-eating.
The term Man-eater is applied to those Tigers, which, deserting their usual haunts in the jungle, frequent the neighbourhood of Villages, and prey chiefly on men. They are almost invariably found to be old animals, and generally females. They are usually very cunning and cowardly. [Capt. Walter Campbell, "The Old Forest Ranger; or, Wild Sports of India," 1842]
"to cut roughly, cut with chopping blows," c. 1200, from verb found in stem of Old English tohaccian "hack to pieces," from West Germanic *hakkon (source also of Old Frisian hackia "to chop or hack," Dutch hakken, Old High German hacchon, German hacken), from PIE root *keg- "hook, tooth." Perhaps influenced by Old Norse höggva "to hew, cut, strike, smite" (which is unrelated, from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike;" see hew).
The slang sense of "cope with" (as in can't hack it) is recorded in American English by 1955, with a notion of "get through by some effort," as a jungle (phrase hack after "keep working away at" is attested from late 14c.). To hack around "waste time" is U.S. slang, by 1955, perhaps originally of golfers or cabbies. Related: Hacked; hacking.