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jackleg

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adjective jack·leg \ˈjak-ˌleg, -ˌlāg\

Definition of jackleg

  1. 1 a :  characterized by unscrupulousness, dishonesty, or lack of professional standards <a jackleg lawyer> b :  lacking skill or training :  amateur <a jackleg carpenter>

  2. 2 :  designed as a temporary expedient :  makeshift

jackleg

noun


Examples of jackleg in a sentence

  1. <a toolshed that can be built by any jackleg carpenter who's capable of hitting a nail without smashing his thumb>

  2. <he did such a jackleg installation of that door frame that now the door won't shut>



Did You Know?

Don't call someone jackleg unless you're prepared for that person to get angry with you. Throughout its more than 150-year-old history in English, jackleg has most often been used as a term of contempt and deprecation, particularly in reference to lawyers and preachers. Its form echoes that of the similar blackleg, an older term for a cheating gambler or a worker opposed to union policies. Etymologists know that blackleg appeared over a hundred years before jackleg, but they don't have any verifiable theories about the origin of either term.

Origin and Etymology of jackleg

1jack + -leg (as in blackleg)


First Known Use: 1850



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