Jellyby to Jeremy Diddler

Jellyby (Mrs., a sham philanthropist, who spends her time, money, and energy on foreign missions, to the neglect of her family and home duties. Untidy in dress, living in a perfect litter, she has a habit of looking “a long way off,” as if she could see nothing nearer to her than Africa. Mrs. Jellyby is quite overwhelmed with business correspondence relative to the affairs of Borrioboola Gha.—Dickens: Bleak House, iv. (1852).

Jemlikha, the favourite Greek slave of Dakianos of Ephesus. Nature had endowed him with every charm, “his words were sweeter than the honey of Arabia, and his wit sparkled like a diamond.” One day, Dakianos was greatly annoyed by a fly, which persisted in tormenting the king, whereupon Jemlikha said to himself, “If Dakianos cannot rule a fly, how can he be the creator of heaven and earth?” This doubt he communicated to his fellow-slaves, and they all resolved to quit Ephesus, and seek some power superior to that of Dakianos.—Comte Caylus: Oriental Tales (“Dakianos and the Seven Sleepers,” 1743).

Jemmie Duffs, weepers. (See Jamie Duffs, p. 539.)

Jemmies, sheep’s heads, and also a house-breaker’s instrument.

Mr. Sikes made many pleasant witticisms on “jemmies,” a cant name for sheep’s heads, and also for an ingenious implement much used in his profession.—Dickens: Oliver Twist (1837).

Jemmy. This name, found on engravings of the eighteenth century, means James Worsdale (died 1767).

Jemmy Dawson, a ballad by Shenstone, relating the love of Kitty for captain Dawson, in the service of the young chevalier. He was “hanged, drawn, and quartered” on Kennington Common in 1746.

Jemmy Twitcher, a cunning and treacherous highwayman.—Gay: The Beggar’s Opera (1727).

(Lord Sandwich, member of the KitKat Club, was called “Jemmy Twitcher,” 1765.)

Jenkin, the servant of George-a-Green. He says a fellow ordered him to hold his horse, and see that it took no cold. “No, no,” quoth Jenkin, “I’ll lay my cloak under him.” He did so, but “mark you,” he adds, “I cut four holes in my cloak first, and made his horse stand on the bare ground.”—R. Greene: George-a- Green, the Pinner of Wakefield (1584).

Jenkin, one of the retainers of Julian Avenel of Avenel Castle.—Sir W. Scott: The Monastery (time Elizabeth).

Jenkins (Mrs. Winifred), Miss Tabitha Bramble’s maid, noted for her bad spelling, misapplication of words, and ludicrous misnomers. Mrs. Malaprop.—Smollett: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771).

Jenkins, a vulgar lick-spittle of the aristocracy, who retails their praises and witticisms, records their movements and deeds, gives flaming accounts of their dresses and parties, either vivâ voce or in newspaper paragraphs: “Lord and lady Dash attended divine service last Sunday, and were very attentive to the sermon” (wonderful!). “Lord and lady Dash took a drive or walk last Monday in their magnificent park of Snobdoodleham. Lady Dash wore a mantle of rich silk, a bonnet with ostrich fellows, and shoes with rosettes.” The name is said to have been given by Punch to a writer in the Morning Post.

Jenkinson (Ephraim), a green old swindler, whom Dr. Primrose met in a public tavern. Imposed on by his venerable appearance, apparent devoutness, learned talk about “cosmogony,” and still more so by his flattery of the doctor’s work on the subject of monogamy, Dr. Primrose sold the swindler his horse, Old Blackberry, for a draft upon Farmer Flamborough. When the draft was presented for payment, the farmer told the vicar that Ephraim Jenkinson “was the greatest rascal under heaven,” and that he was the very rogue who had sold Moses Primrose the spectacles. Subsequently the vicar found him in the country jail, where he showed the vicar great kindness, did him valuable service, became a reformed character, and probably married one of the daughters of Farmer Flamborough.—Golsmith:Vicar of Wakefield (1765).

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