From Middle English Jake (variant of “Jack”) or Jakke (variant of “Jacques” and “Jack”). Use as a place to urinate and defecate first attested in the form jacques. Compare terms such as US slang Cousin John and Quincy, used as euphemistic personifications the speaker was "visiting".
- plural of in its various senses.
- (now chiefly Ireland) A place to urinate and defecate: an outhouse or lavatory.
1749, Henry Fielding, chapter I, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, London: A[ndrew] Millar, OCLC 928184292, book VI::
- […] whereas the truth-finder, having raked out that jakes, his own mind, and being there capable of tracing no ray of divinity, nor anything virtuous or good, or lovely, or loving, very fairly, honestly, and logically concludes that no such things exist in the whole creation.
- 1999, Derek Beaven, Newton's Niece, p. 8:
- And the treasures of the floor and walls went raw into the jakeses from my brush and dustpan: sludges, geodes, hair, dead insects and arachnidae, a rubber glove and tainted paper waste, a mouse's skull and tail, a set of used plasters, […]
- (place to urinate and defecate): See Wikisaurus:bathroom
- ^ "jakes, n." in the Oxford English Dictionary (1900), Oxford: Oxford University Press.