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Aug 11, 2022
This week’s theme
Words coined after animals

This week’s words
cynical
lemming
serpentine
jackrabbit
chevachee

jackrabbit
I can pick up Direct TV on these things
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

jackrabbit

PRONUNCIATION:
(JAK-rab-it)

MEANING:
noun: Any of various hares having long ears and very long hind legs.
verb intr.: To move or begin to move very quickly.
adjective: Moving or beginning to move very quickly.

ETYMOLOGY:
A combination of jackass + rabbit. Earliest documented use: 1863, in a figurative use: 1922.

NOTES:
The word jackrabbit is a misnomer. A jackrabbit is a hare, not a rabbit. It is called a jackrabbit because of its long ears, as if those of a jackass. The metaphorical use is from a jackrabbit’s sudden movement. This has given us the slang “jackrabbit start” meaning a start in which a person accelerates very quickly as a traffic light turns green, maybe even before the light has turned. Like most animal-related metaphors, this unfairly maligns our furry friends. There have been no reported sightings of jackrabbits jumping a red light.

USAGE:
“I stare him down, heart jackrabbiting out of my chest.”
Julia Kent; Shopping for a Billionaire Boxed Set; Kindle; 2021.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It has always seemed absurd to suppose that a god would choose for his companions, during all eternity, the dear souls whose highest and only ambition is to obey. -Robert Green Ingersoll, lawyer and orator (11 Aug 1833-1899)

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