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Jiggery-pokery – Wacky Word Wednesday

What’s that? It’s Wednesday again? Well I’ll be darned: it’s time for Wacky Word Wednesdays, a weekly celebration of some of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world.

Today’s wacky word is: jiggery-pokery.

The definition from Dictionary.com:

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jig·ger·y-pok·er·y

[jiguh-ree-poh-kuh-ree]

-noun Chiefly British

1. trickery, hocus-pocus; fraud; humbug.
2. sly, underhanded action.

quo botJiggery-pokery

It comes from a combination of the Scottish words jouk, referring to an elusive movement (like ducking or dodging), and pawk, meaning “to trick.” Naturally, you need to add the English suffix -ery, which denotes the collective quality of a given noun or action. Now throw in a couple centuries of phonological change, and “joukery-pawkery” becomes the much-loved and sadly underused jigger-pokery.

Why did we choose this word for Wacky Word Wednesdays? Simply because it’s fun to say—it practically dances off the tongue. Not only that, but it sounds a thousand times better in a fake British accent!

Give it a try: JIGGERY-POKERY!

For your reference, here are two examples of jiggery-pokery used in a sentence:

  • Jason stuffed a plum in his cheek, pulled down his upper lip and, in an impressive portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, lambasted the unwholesome fellow for his jiggery-pokery at the Euchre table.
  • Nigel Hazelwick was furious at the disgruntled pastry chef who, in a hostile act of jiggery-pokery, purposely left out both the nooks and crannies in his morning crumpet.

Have you been up to any jiggery-pokery lately? If so, we’d love to hear about it.

In the meantime, watch your back—and keep your eyes peeled for next week’s edition of Wacky Word Wednesdays!

Related:  Comparison of Translation Standards Between East and West

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  1. Desmond suspected jiggery-pokery at the monopoly table as he returned from the bathroom. His penetrating eyesight searched Barbora’s practiced poker face for clues, to no result. Then he saw it – Norman had landed on his hotel, but the game had moved on. Desmond’s eyes turned a deep, dark red, as he fingered the glock stuffed into his belt.

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