Jug

jugI am always amazed by the variety of meanings that everyday words, especially short, simple words, have adopted over time.  For example, take the word jug. This simple word, in use for at least five or six centuries, has obscure roots.  The origin is probably a familiar form of the given names of Joan and Jenny. Shakespeare used the word in this form, and in fact jug still has the meaning of a young woman in England.  Today, when we use jug, generally we are referring to a large, typically earthenware container with a narrow mouth and often a stopper, with the possibility of containing spiritous liquids.  The British has a similar common meaning for jug as a small pitcher.  But other meanings have developed over the years:

jug vt. to stew meat in a ceramic jar; also called jugged.

jug vt. to commit to jail or prison; imprison.

jug vi. of certain birds, such as quail and partridges, to collect in a covey.

jug n. an informal Scotish unit of liquid capacity equal to approximately 1.7 liters.

jug n. a jail or prison.

jug n. the sound made by a bird, especially a nightingale.

jug n. a bank.

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  1. #1 by unitary on April 24, 2009 - 4:34 am

    I love this blog!

  2. #2 by mrred on April 21, 2009 - 5:51 pm

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

    • #3 by thewordmaven on April 21, 2009 - 10:29 pm

      Thanks for the kind words…look forward to having you back soon.

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