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Jul 27, 2022
This week’s theme
Words derived after names

This week’s words
John Henry
mollycoddle
Jones
patsy
jasper

jones
“More people named Jones own Chevrolets than any other car. Are you keeping up with the Joneses?”
Chevrolet ad, 1956
Illustration: Austin Briggs
Image: eBay

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Jones

PRONUNCIATION:
(jonz)

MEANING:
noun: 1 One’s neighbors or social equals. Typically used in the phrase: keeping up with the Joneses.
noun: 2. An addiction or craving, especially for drugs.
verb intr.: To have an intense longing.

ETYMOLOGY:
For noun 1: From Jones, a common surname. The phrase was popularized by the comic strip Keeping up with the Joneses that ran in newspapers from 1913 to 1938. Earliest documented use: 1879.
For noun 2, verb: Of uncertain origin. Earliest documented use: 1965.

USAGE:
“Dunton had kept his private life completely separate from his profession and avoided any nonsense of competing with Joneses.”
Geoffrey Household; The Courtesy of Death; Brown; 1967.

“And aren’t we all always jonesing for a way out
or in, a better deal, a shorter distance to x, more
y.”
Ellen Doré Watson; In Which We Are What We Repeatedly Do; Ploughshares (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Spring 2022.

See more usage examples of Jones in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It was my shame, and now it is my boast, That I have loved you rather more than most. -Hilaire Belloc, writer and poet (27 Jul 1870-1953)

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