jack-in-the-box

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English[edit]

A plastic jack-in-the-box.

Noun[edit]

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.
    • 1912, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World[1]:
      "Did you venture to call me a liar?" ("No, sir, no!" shouted the accused, and disappeared like a Jack-in-the-box.)
  2. (obsolete) A con-man who deceived tradesmen by substituting empty boxes for others full of money.

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