The Roots of Jingoism

  • A. P. Thornton


By jingo, which originates in the conjurer’s argot, embodies emphasis and force, qualities that also belong by George and Jove. The Oxford English Dictionary makes a passing comparison to the Scottish by jings, but this is misleading, since the overtones of that are of surprise as much as enthusiasm. It tells us also that Oliver Goldsmith makes use of Jingo in both She Stoops To Conquer and The Vicar of Wakefield, and in conclusion allows itself a bleak witticism: ‘The grotesque notion that the word is short for St Gengulphus is merely a joke by the author of The Ingoldsby Legends.’


Foreign Policy Oxford English Dictionary Punitive Measure English People Imperial Idea 
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  1. 2.
    John Bright and J. E. Thorold Rogers, eds., Richard Cobden’s Speeches on Questions of Public Policy (London, 1870), i 117.Google Scholar
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    J. F. Stephen, Horae Sabbaticae, iii (London, 1892), 187.Google Scholar
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    G. C. Thompson, Public Opinion and Lord Beaconsfield, 1875–1880 (London, 1886), i 32.Google Scholar
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    Ibid. ii 53; F. W. Chesson, ed., Political Writings of Richard Cobden, 4th ed. (London, 1903), i 254.Google Scholar
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    Evelyn Ashley, Life of Lord Palmerston (London, 1879), ii 62.Google Scholar
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    Ibid. 419; R. T. Shannon, Gladstone and the Bulgarian Agitation 1876 (London, 1963), p. 231.Google Scholar

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© A. P. Thornton 1968

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  • A. P. Thornton

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