"emit tinkling metallic sounds," late 14c., gingeln, of imitative origin; compare tinkle (v.), Dutch jengelen, German klingeln (from Old High German klingilon (8c.), a frequentative of klingen). "There does not appear any original association with jangle" [OED]. Transitive sense "cause to emit a jingling sound" is from c. 1500. Related: Jingled; jingling. Massinger has jingle-boy "a coin" (c. 1600). Jingle-bell is attested from 1871. Jingle-brains (1700) was slang for "a wild, thoughtless, rattling fellow" [Grose].
"tinkling or clinging sound," such as made by small bells, 1590s, from jingle (v.). Meaning "something that jingles" is from 1610s, especially "metallic disc on a tambourine." Meaning "song in an advertisement" first attested 1930, from earlier sense of "catchy array of words in prose or verse" (1640s).
updated on March 29, 2017