jalopy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Origin unknown. Is it possible that the non Spanish-speaking New Orleans-based longshoremen, referring to scrapped autos circa 1920 destined for Jalapa, Mexico scrapyards, pronounced the destination on the palettes "jalopies" rather than multiples or possessive of Jalapa?

Noun[edit]

jalopy (plural jalopies)

  1. An old, dilapidated vehicle.
    • 1979, Jack Kerouac, On the road, page 3:
      Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he was actually born on the road, when his parents were passing through Salt Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles.
    • 2003, Terrance Dicks & Barry Letts, Deadly Reunion, chapter 22:
      There's only a rough track and I doubt if that jalopy of yours will make it.

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