Date: Thu, 16 Feb 1995 12:53:19 -0600


Subject: Re: jakes

Herewith the OED2 entry:

ux1 2 oed2 jakes

1 match

jakes (d3eIks). Forms: 6 iacques, 6-7 iaxe, iakes, iaques, 7

jacks, 7-8

jaques, 7- jakes (also 6 iake, 8 jack). Plural, 6 iaxes, 7 j


jaqueses, 8 jakes's; also in same form as sing. [Origin unascertained;

it has been suggested to be from the proper name Jaques, Jakes; or from

Jakke, `Jack', quasi Jakkes, `Jack's'.

(`Gakehouse' in 1438 Tintinhull Churchw. Acc. (Som. Rec. Soc.) p. 179,

is an editorial misreading of `Bakehouse'.)]

1 a A privy.

153. in Ellis Orig. Lett. Ser. III. III. 84 The Iaques was very well

doon. 1538 Inv. in J. W. Clark Barnwell Introd. 24 The jakes of the

dorter. 1549 BALE Journ. Leland Pref. B j, A great nombre of them whych

purchased those superstycyouse mansyons, reserued of those Lybrarie

bokes, some to serue theyr iakes, some to scoure theyr candlestyckes.

1552 HULOET, Siege, iacques, bogard, or draught, latrina. 1570 LEVINS

Manip. 12/13 Iake, forica. 1596 HARINGTON Metam. Ajax Pref. (1814) 14

Because I will write of a Jakes. 1620 Naworth Househ. Bk. 145 To a

tyller for tylling the jacks, vjd. 1634 Documents agst. Prynne (Camden)

12 They..dragged his carckesse throughe the cittye, and cast it into the

common jakes. 1649 R. HODGES Plain Direct. 12 Let the hous bee made a

jakes for Mr. Jaques. 1657 Manchester Crt. Leet Rec. (1887) IV. 202 Noe

close stoole, Jackes, Carrion or garbage be cast vpon the Ackers Mid-

dinge. 1701 C. WOLLEY Jrnl. New York (1860) 26 The more unhealthful it

may prove, by reason of Jaques, Dunghills and other excrementitious

stagnations. 1727 P. WALKER Life of Peden in Biogr. Presb. (1827) I. 144

He [Arius] went..into a common Jack and purg'd out all his Inwards. 1788

V. KNOX Winter Even. I. II. xv. 211 His book is a nasty book, and fit

only for the jakes. 1855 KINGSLEY Westw. Ho (1861) 168 The

fox..that..jumped down a jakes to escape the hounds.1913 L. WOOLF Vil-

lage in Jungle iv. 54 The headman's brother is to marry a sweeper of

jakes! 1922 JOYCE Ulysses 68 He kicked open the crazy door of the

jakes. 1969 Listener 26 June 902/3 He is at his best when not occupied

with symbols..but concerned to tell how the keeper of an `underground

jakes' mistakes a police stool-pigeon for a real poof.

b transf. and fig.

1579 TOMSON Calvin's Serm. Tim. 967/1 What vermine, I pray you, is

there of Monkes, and Priestes, and all that Cleargie?..that filthie and

stinking iaxe hath filled the world so full. 1637 GILLESPIE Eng. Pop.

Cerem. Ep. B iij, Cast forth as things accursed into the Iakes of eter-

nall detestation. 1660 Life & Death Mrs. Rump 2 Hell..that stinking poy-

sonous place called the Ile of Jaqueses. 1701 DE FOE True-born Eng. 194

We have been Europe's Sink, the Jakes where she Voids all her Offal

Out-cast Progeny. 1753 SMOLLETT Ct. Fathom (1784) 13/1 Who eagerly

explore the jakes of Rabelais, for amusement. 1829 BENTHAM Petit. Jus-

tice 173 The jakes, of late so notorious by the name of the Secondary's

Office in the city of London.

2 Excrement; filth. s.w. dial.

1847-78 HALLIW., Jakes..applied in Devon to any kind of filth or

litter. 1880 in East & West Cornw. Glossaries. 1886 in ELWORTHY W.

Somerset Word-book.

3 attrib. and Comb., as jakes door, jakes-like adj.; jakes-barreller,

jakes-farmer, jakes-man, a man employed to clean out privies; so jakes-

farming; jakes-house = jakes.

1596 NASHE Saffron Walden 155 Like a *iakes barreller and a Gorbolone.

1557-8 Louth Rec. (1891) 110 One locke to the *Jakes dore.

1591 PERCIVALL Sp. Dict., Privadero, a *iakes farmer. A. 1618 SYLVES-

TER Tobacco Battered 267 Iakes-farmers, Fidlers, Ostlers, Oysterers.

1639 HORN & ROB. Gate Lang. Unl. lviii. f624 The common draught-

house..which the jakes-farmer..makes cleane.

1577 tr. Bullinger's Decades (1592) 890 A doonghill God,..a god of the


1606 SYLVESTER Du Bartas II. iv. I. David 1251 Flames from his eies,

from's mouth coms *Iakes-like fumes.

1630 DAVENANT Cruel Brother Wks. (1673) 475 On that branch appears a

Hang-man, Then a *Jakes-man, then, a Tinker.

And for john:

d (With lower-case initial.) A lavatory, water-closet. slang

(chiefly U.S.).

1735 Harvard Laws in W. Bentinck-Smith Harvard Bk. (1953) 146 No

freshman shall mingo against the College wall or go into the fellows'

cuzjohn. 1932 Amer. Speech VII. 333 John, johnny, a lavatory. 1946 J.

EVANS Halo in Blood xvi. 181, I..made a brief visit to the john. 1959 C.

MACINNES Absolute Beginners 54 `You poor old bastard,' I said to the

Hoplite, as he sat there on my john. 1972 Last Whole Earth Catalog (Por-

tola Inst.) 247/3 Every time you take a dump or a leak in a standard

john, you flush five gallons of water out with your piddle. 1973 Black

World June 19 They gave me my Status Symbol The key to the white Locked




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