jay

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See also: Jay and jaý

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

American jay

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English jay, from Old French jai ("jay"; Modern French geai), from Old French jai (gay, merry), so named due to its plumage, from Old Frankish *gāhi (quick, impetuous), from Proto-Germanic *ganhuz, *ganhwaz (sudden), cognate with Dutch gaai (jay). More at gay.

Noun[edit]

jay (plural jays)

  1. Any one of the numerous species of birds belonging to several genera within the family Corvidae, including Garrulus, Cyanocitta, allied to the crows, but smaller, more graceful in form, often handsomely colored, usually having a crest, and often noisy.
  2. Other birds of similar appearance and behavior.
  3. (archaic) A dull or ignorant person. It survives today in the term jaywalking.
  4. (slang) A marijuana cigarette; a joint.
    • 2009, Caitlin Moran, The Times, 23 Mar 2009:
      Although sympathetic, my main reaction was to think: “Some people can handle it, and some people can’t,” and then smugly light up a big fat jay.
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Etymology 2[edit]

Respelling of the letter jy, by analogy with the following letter kay.

Noun[edit]

jay (plural jays)

  1. The name of the Latin-script letter J/j.
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