Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack Black. Jack Nicholson. It’s a common English name that you hear again and again, but do you know it’s used in many ways in the English language? In this Connect Eikaiwa (コネウト英会話)blog, we’ll be looking into a list of the different uses of the word “jack”.

To jack (verb/slang) To steal or take without permission.
A: Where’s my car? It was here a minute ago.

B: Oh no… I think someone jacked your ride (vehicle).

Jacked (adj/slang) Big, strong and muscular
A: Wow. You got jacked. Have you been hitting the gym a lot?images

B: I go twice a day and drink a lot of protein shakes. Check out my biceps. (Note: people like this are called ‘gym rats’.)

Jack of all trades (master of none) (idiom) A person who can do in many things (but may not be able to do them skillfully).
A: What are you doing for the weekend? 

B: I’m going to build a new dining room table, bake a cake for a party, and pottery.

A: You’re a jack of all trades. Is there anything you can’t do?

You don’t know jack (idiomatic phrase) You don’t know anything about it. (This can be used as an insult or a friendly tease)
A: Would you like to learn how to get into the construction business. For only $2000, I can teach you what you need to…

B: You don’t know jack! I remember you… You tried cheating my friends of their money. Git outta here!!!

downloadA: One day, I’m going to become the CEO because I can figure out how to how to improve all of our safety and fix our budget problem. You just watch.
B: You don’t know jack. You can’t even fix the clogged toilet. Get back to work.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (proverbial expression) Working too much without any rest would make a person bored and soul-less.
A: Ichiro!? You’re still in the office. Go home, why don’t you? All work and no playsimpsons_all_work makes Jack a dull boy.

B: But this is Japan. We don’t work to live, we live to work.

I don’t give a jack (colloquial expression) A strong comment expressing that one doesn’t care a particular thing.
A: Where are you going? You’re finished with your work?

B: My father just called. He said that that he won the lottery so I don’t need to work anymore.

A: But the project is not done yet?

B: Oh, I don’t give a jack about that project. Have a good life. Byeeee………

There you have it. Now you know jack (*We don’t use the word ‘jack’ this way. Only in the way used above.)

In what way can you use ‘jack’ in your life? I used it to tell people that my bicycle got jacked. Share with us at Connect Eikaiwa (コネウト 英会話) in the comment section below or if you are in the Chiba area, stop by Nishi-Funabashi (西船橋) to say hello.


2 thoughts on “You Don’t Know “Jack”?

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