Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's All Jake With Me

I've traveled around a bit, and one hobby of mine is to collect phrases: colloquialisms, aphorisms, even slang. The trouble is: sometimes I can't remember where I got things.

Take this one: Jake; as in "It's all Jake with me."

In this case Jake means OK, fine, all right, just right, satisfactory, or even great. I used that once a couple of years ago and just got a look that said "What the heck are you talking about?". Well, I knew what I meant, but not why. Where had I heard that? Obviously I liked the phrase since I remembered it, but who said it first?

This particular incarnation is apparently part of the 1920's Jazz-era slang that was favored by flappers. Many such phrases have survived into modern usage including Big Cheese, baloney!, bee's knees, hair of the dog, speakeasy and others. The origin of Jake in this usage has been traced to 1920's flapper slang, but nobody seems to know why they chose to use it in this way.

The ironic thing is that the term jake has been used through the years to mean a wide variety of different things, including: OK, great, terrible, a policeman, a Jamaican ginger drink, a rube or uncouth person, lazy, a brake, and a toilet.

It's a great term, it's got a short, catchy sound to it. Small wonder it's been so popular.

So, I found out where my mystery phrase came from, but not why.

(Shrug) That's Jake with me.

1 comment:

Caster said...

Robert Redford says it in the movie 'the sting' made in 73 but depicting 1936 :)


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