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A plastic jack-in-the-box.


jack-in-the-box (plural jacks-in-boxes or jacks-in-the-boxes or jack-in-the-boxes or jacks-in-the-box)

  1. Children’s toy consisting of a small box from which a male figure pops out unexpectedly after some turnings of a crank.
  2. (historical) A small but powerful kind of screw, used by burglars to break open safes.
    • 2013, Donald Thomas, The Secret Cases of Sherlock Holmes:
      It was possible, from underneath, to use the old jack-in-the-box safe-breaker's tool which lay in his gasman's bag.
  3. (obsolete) A con-man who deceived tradesmen by substituting empty boxes for others full of money.


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