noun jit·ney \ˈjit-nē\

Definition of jitney



  1. 1 :  an unlicensed taxicab

  2. 2 [from the original 5 cent fare] :  bus 1a; especially :  a small bus that carries passengers over a regular route on a flexible schedule

  3. 3 slang :  nickel 2a(1)

jitney was our Word of the Day on 01/10/2017. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Jitneys weren't worth a dime - just a nickel. In the early 1900s, jitney was slang for "nickel," but it wasn't long before the term was applied to a new mode of public transportation that only cost a nickel. When they were introduced in American cities at the beginning of the century, vehicular jitneys could be any automobiles that carried passengers over a set route for a cheap fare, but eventually the term was applied specifically to small buses. In the mid-1900s, the word jitney was combined with jeep to create a new coinage: jeepney, meaning "a Philippine jitney bus converted from a jeep."

Origin and Etymology of jitney

origin unknown

First Known Use: 1899

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up jitney? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!