jackanapes: A ridiculous upstart. ?From nickname of Duke of Suffolk, “Jack Napes,” whose badge had a clog and chain, like performing apes
jackaroo: Apprentice on an Australian sheep ranch. From “jack”=generic name for a man < Greek “jakobus” + “-roo” shortened from “kangeroo.”
jacksy: Slang for buttocks or anus – “up the jacksy(ie).” First mentioned 1896 as “jacksy-pardy.” Maybe from “jack” (1891)=socket.
jaded: Worn out, tired, and weary of life. Unenthusiastic and insensitive. From Old Norse “jalda”=mare. Literally “like an old horse.”
jaguar: Large feline mammal of Central and South America, closely related to the leopard. From Guarani “yaguara”=carnivorous beast.
jalapeno: Small, fat, green chili pepper found in Mexico and southern US. Named after place of origin. From Aztec “Xalapan”=sand by water.
jambalaya: Louisiana creole dish of rice, chicken, shrimp, and andouille sausage. From Provencal “jambalaia”=mish-mash.
January: First month of the Gregorian and Julian calendars. From Latin “Januarius” < “Janus”=Italian two-faced deity + “-arius”=man.
jecorary: Relating to the liver; hepatic. French “jécoraire” < Latin “jecur”=liver + “-ary”=suffix meaning “related to.”
jejune: Uninteresting, insignificant, and dull; immature or childish. From Latin “jejunus”=barren, dry, hungry.
jetsam: Floating items thrown from a ship to prevent sinking. From Old French “getaison”=throw overboard < Latin “jectare=toss about.
jitterati: Coffee addicts or stressed personnel in the fast-paced, high-tech field. From “jitter” (unknown origin) + “literati”=well-read.
joke: Act or narrative intended to cause laughter. From Latin “jocus”=game or jest.
Joulupukki: Finnish name for Santa. From Finnish “joulu”=Yule + “pukki”=goat. Literally Yule Goat.
journey: A ‘spell’ or continued course of going or traveling. From Old French “journee”=day’s travel > Latin “diurnum”=day.
jovial: Good-humored and jolly. From Latin “Jove”=god Jove/Jupiter + “al”=related to. Astrological traits of those born under Jupiter.
judge: Official with the power to decide on questions brought before a court. From Latin “judicum” < “jus”=law or right + “dicere”=to say.
juggernaut: Force crushing everything in its path. Wagon carrying image of Hindu god, Krishna. From Sanskrit “jagat”=world + “natha”=lord.
Julenissen: Norwegian name for Santa. From Old Norse “jol”=heathen feast + “nisse”=mythic small, elderly man protecting farms
jump: To spring into the air using leg muscles; to leap over something. Uncertain origin – possibly Low German “gumpen”=to jump.
jury: Group of people charged with deciding on the guilt or innocence of a person in a court case. From Latin “jurare”=to swear < “jus”=law