Generic Jack
Posted: 18 December 2013 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  865
Joined  2007-02-07

We have the playing card called a Knave which is generally credited as changing to a Jack with a popular printing of cards in 1864. I’m thinking this is another example of “Jack” as a generic male term, so I’m wondering how old this generic use of Jack is?

Posted: 18 December 2013 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  3203
Joined  2007-01-31

At least back to the 16th century; it’s hard to tell if some of the earlier citations in the OED are generic or references to specific persons.

BTW, the use of “jack” for the playing card is cited back to 1674-80.

[ Edited: 18 December 2013 12:37 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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