Thursday, 6 January 2011


n pl: jitters

"Just thinking about my class presentation today gives me the jimjams," confided Joseph to his roommate.

Did You Know?

When "jimjams" entered English in the mid-19th century, it probably referred to delirium tremens, a violent delirium caused by excessive drinking. When used in current American Enlgish, it means simply "jitters." Etymologist aren't sure about the origin of the term. Some speculate that it came about as an alteration of "delirium tremens." Others, though uncertain of the origin of "jim" and "jam," notice that the word follows a pattern of similar words in which one sound is repeated or altered slightly. Interestingly, other words for "jitters" were formed in the same repetitive way - "whim-whams" and "heebie-jeebies" are examples.

Page-A-Day Calendar
Workman Publishing

This word is ridiculous!!! I have never heard it used before. Wouldn't you just call that colloquial slang?

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