A Dictionary of American Proverbs

By Wolfgang Mieder; Stewart A. Kingsbury et al. | Go to book overview

J

Jack1. A bad Jack may have a bad Jill. Vars.: (a) A good Jack makes a good Jill. (b) There is always a Jill as bad as a Jack. Rec. dist.: N.J. 1st cit.: 1732 Fuller, Gnomologia. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1262:8.

2. For every Jack there is a Jill. Vars.: (a) Each Jack shall have his Jill. (b) Every Jack has his JIll. (c) Every Jack has his Jill; if one won't, another wIll. (d) Every Jack has JIll. (e) Every Jack must have his JIll. (f) Every Jack must have his JIll. Like will to like. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can. 1st cit.: 1594 Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1263:1, ODEP407, CODP122.

3. Jack of all trades and master of none. Vars.: (a) A Jack of many trades makes a master of none. (b) Better be master of one than Jack of all trades. (c) Better master of one than Jack of all trades. (d) Jack of all trades an' good at none. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can. 1st cit.: 1732 Fuller, Gnomologia; US 1721 Buckingham, Specimens of Newspaper Literature. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1259:1, Whiting237, ODEP408, T&W 202, Whiting( MP) 341.

4. Jack's as good as his master. Rec. dist.: Ont., Wis.1st cit.:ca 1790 Dibdin, The Blind Sailor; US 1931 Arlington, Through. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1259:5, ODEP408, CODP122, Whiting( MP) 340.

5. There's a Jack for every JIll. Vars.: (a)

Every Jill has a Jack. (b) There's a Jack for every Jane. (c) There's a Jack for every Jean. (d) There's a Jack for every Jenny. Rec. dist.: Ohio, Ont., Wis.1st cit.:US 1855 Hammett, Wonderful Adventures of Captain Priest. 20c. coll.: T&W 202, Whiting( MP) 341.

6. There's never a Jack without a JIll. Vars.:

(a) There's nae so simple a Jack but there's just as simple a Jenny. (b) There's never a Jack but there's a JIll. (c) There's never a Jack but what there's a Jill; if one won't, the other wIll. (d) There's never a Jennie but there's a Johnny. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can. 1st cit.: 1738 Swift, Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation; US 1721 "The Little-Compton Scourge" in New-England Courant. 20c. coll.: ODEP408, Whiting237.

SEE ALSO All WORK and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

jackal A jackal gone on a pilgrimage is incredible news. Rec. dist.: Ill.

jackass1. A jackass makes no progress when he's kicking. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

2. Any jackass can make money; it takes a wise man to keep it. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

SEE ALSO The BRAYING of a jackass never reaches heaven. / CONCEIT is the self satisfaction of a jackass.

jackdaw A jackdaw is ever found near to a jackdaw. Rec. dist.: Ill.

jade Do not wish to be rare like jade or common like stone. Rec. dist.: Ohio.

jail He who waits for something to turn up is likely to turn up in jail. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

James As James treats God, so God treats James. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C.

January Never shut out the January sun. Rec. dist.: Ont.

Jap A good Jap is a dead Jap. Var.: Only good Jap is a dead one. Rec. dist.: N.C., Ohio.

jar Women's jars breed men's wars. Rec. dist.: Ill.1st cit.:US 1948 Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 2569:1.

jaundicedSEE EVERYTHING looks blue to the jaundiced eye.

jawbone The jawbone does the mischief. Rec. dist.: Ont.

jaybirds Jaybirds don't rob their own nests. Var.: Jaybird don't rob his own nes'. Rec. dist.: N.J., N.Y., S.C.1st cit.: 1818 Scott, Rob Roy. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 179:5.

jealous A loving man is always a jealous man. Rec. dist.: Ill.

SEE ALSO BEGGAR is jealous of beggar. / He that is conscious of a STINK in his breeches is jealous of every wrinkle in another's nose.

-337-

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A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • A 3
  • B 33
  • C 79
  • D 133
  • E 173
  • F 193
  • G 245
  • I 323
  • J 337
  • K 345
  • L 357
  • M 395
  • N 423
  • O 435
  • P 447
  • Q 493
  • R 497
  • S 521
  • T 579
  • U 623
  • V 629
  • W 637
  • Y 685
  • Z 689
  • Bibliography 691
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