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See also: Joey



  • enPR: jōˈ.ē
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊi

Etymology 1[edit]

Unknown. Older and more general sources state that joey comes from an Australian aboriginal language, but newer sources that focus on Australian English and aboriginal languages say the origin is unknown. The Australian National Dictionary includes a sense of “young possum” with citations predating the earliest “young kangaroo” citations.


joey (plural joeys)

  1. The immature young of a marsupial, notably a junior kangaroo, but also a young wallaby, koala, etc.
  2. The shorter word whose letters can be found within a kangaroo word.
    • 1998, Richard Lederer, Dave Morice, The Word Circus (page 129)
      Among the kangaroo words that yield the most joviality and joy are those that conceal multiple joeys.
    • 2005, Anu Garg, Another Word a Day (page 132)
      Sometimes a kangaroo word has more than one joey.



  • joey” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Joseph Grimaldi.


joey (plural joeys)

  1. (theater, circus) A kind of clown.