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Borrowed from Scots joukery-pawkery (trickery; deceit) Attested in English since the nineteenth century. The earliest known use was in the Berkshire Chronicle in 1845.[1]



jiggery-pokery (uncountable)

  1. Trickery or misrepresentation.
    • 1975, Pamela Hansford Johnson, A Summer to Decide, Scribner, →ISBN, page 12:
      'Jiggery-pokery,' said Helena, 'you talk jiggery-pokery. Stop it, can't you?'
    • 2015, Peter Hain, Back to the Future of Socialism
      Much as 'off-balance sheet' jiggery-pokery and other 'creative accounting' allowed banks to get away with false impressions of their true financial position...
  2. Manipulation.
    • 1845 December 27, “Protection to Agriculture”, in Berkshire Chronicle:
      ...under the present law, the averages were made up so faithfully and fairly as to prevent any jiggery-pokery.
    • 1892, Philip Stanhope, Lightning (journal), Letter XXVII:
      ...what my friend Singleton calls "rigging, cornering, and general jiggery-pokery methods,"...
    • 1964, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates (Hansard).: House of Commons official report, Volume 707, H.M. Stationery Office, page 805:
      The hon. Member for Dover is suggesting that if all the facts were revealed, there would be less danger of people thinking that there was jiggery-pokery.
  3. (euphemistic) Sexual intercourse.
    • 2002, Olivia Judson, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation
      ...the males, like most birds, have no penis. But that doesn't stop a bit of gay jiggery-pokery.




  1. ^ Ammon Shea (2015-06-25), “What Does "Jiggery-Pokery" Mean?”, in Merriam-Webster[1]