David Bergdahl bergdahl at OHIO.EDU
Thu Sep 27 14:28:05 UTC 2001

> _Jake brakes_ are beyond me, but there might, given _jakeleg_ be a link.
> Jonathon Green

Related to the "jack" of "I don't care jackshit about..." [which isn't in
DARE]?  My conjecture is that it's related to Jacques [=toilet] and thus is
used to attach a negative connotation.

Hence we have "jackstone' = wasterock associated with coal; "jackpine" =
smaller than the norm; "jackass brandy" = poor quality liquor; "jackass
clover" =a rank-smelling plant; "jackfish" = freshwater fish that are not
good to eat; "jack-fool" a great fool.  [all < DARE, vol 3]

Seems like a negative intensifier to me: "jack-brakes" are brakes that are
decidedly inferior.

"We are all New Yorkers"
       --Dominique Moisi

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