Steve Hicks Hixmaddog at AOL.COM
Sat Sep 29 23:48:28 UTC 2001

Thank all of you for the input on jackleg/jakeleg/jake brakes:
the usual mixture of erudition, wisecracks, informed specu-
lation, and inimitable "other" that I so love about this list and
its contributors.

Have at least some good general possibilities in mind now
for the derivation of "jackleg" and "jakeleg"...and the latter's
merely fortuitous (though Jacobs Manufacturing Company
might consider it otherwise) connection to "jake brake."

Wondering now what are the parameters for "jackleg" ?  As
Jonathan Green mentioned, it seems usually applied to "various
incompetent, unskilled or unprincipled professionals"...preachers,
lawyers, and I believe I've heard doctors so termed.  Can't recall
an instance of other professions...pharmacists, librarians, etc...
it might be applied to, however.

On the other hand, "jackleg (car-)mechanic" is well recognized;
and again, believe I've heard it of plumbers.  So a jackleg (my
father's use was that non-specific) can also be blue-collar, I pre-
sume ?

Finally, Is there included a sense of "self-proclaimed" or "self-taught;"
and in the latter case, might a jackleg mechanic (for example) be
fully as competent, skilled and principled as Mr. Goodwrench ?

Steve Hicks

Hicks Information

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