Trivia

Hard

The Term “Jaywalking” Derives Its Name From?

Slang for U.S. Country-Folk
Creole Slang
The Jay Bird
Screamin' Jay Hawkins
A 1937 color woodcut poster encouraging people not to jaywalk.
Isadore Posoff (WPA Federal Art Project)/Wikimedia

Answer: Slang for U.S. Country-Folk

In the early part of the 20th century, there was still a significant divide between the lifestyles of people living in U.S. cities and rural towns. Many regions of the country still didn’t have electricity, indoor plumbing, or widespread use of automobiles. In the Midwestern and Eastern United States, city-dwellers took to using the pejorative term “jay” to refer to country-folk that were unacquainted with life in the big city and often made mistakes or looked foolish as a result.

Although the use of “jay” to mean a silly or stupid person has vanished from common use in English, it has lived on in one particular way: jaywalking. Those country-folk, upon visiting the city, would rarely pay attention to fast-moving automotive traffic as there wasn’t any in their towns of origin. As a result, they’d often cross streets away from intersections and “jaywalk” their way into accidents.

Trivia

Easy

Which Class Of Invertebrates Is Considered The Most Intelligent?

Trivia

Very Hard

The English Phrase “Hunker Down” Was Popularized By?

Trivia

Easy

Which Comedy Group Can We Thank For the Naming Origin Of Spam Email?

Trivia

Hard

A Significant Amount Of Wine Is Shipped Around The World In?

Trivia

Easy

The Most Covered Beatles Song Of All Time Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Probability of Death Is Measured In What Units?

Trivia

Easy

Who Holds The Record For Most Time Spent In Space?

Trivia

Easy

The Sound Of Your Knuckles Cracking Is Caused By?

Trivia

Easy

A Deadly Wave Of What Swept Through Boston In 1919?

Trivia

Easy

The First Feature Film To Employ Stereo Sound Was?