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Poor Jack or John (A)

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Dried hake. We have “john-dory,” a “jack” (pike), a “jack shark,” and a “jack of Dover,” Probably the word Jack is a mere play on the wordHake,” and John a substitute for Jack.

“ʹTis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor-john.”—Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, i. 1.


We have a similar perversion in the school-boy proof that a pigeon-pie is a fish-pie. A pigeonpie is a pie-john, and a pie-john is a jack-pie, and a jack-pie is a fish-pie.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Pompilia
Pongo
Ponocratēs
Pons Asinorum
Pontefract Cakes
Pontiff
Pontius Pilate’s Body-Guard
Pony (A)
Poona
Poor
Poor Jack or John (A)
Poor Man
Poor Richard
Poor Tassel (A)
Poorer than Irus (“Iro pauperior”)
Pop the Question (To)
Pope
Pope
Pope
Pope
Pope Joan