One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A devil, in particular as represented in a carnival masquerade.
- ‘Around the occasion, a colorful cast of Carnival characters grew up devils called Jab Jabs (from the French diable), human donkeys called burrokeets, bandits called Midnight Robbers, clowns called Pierrot Grenade, giants on stilts called Moko Jumbies.’
- ‘I also liked Edwards’ nod to T & T Carnival in the costumes of the jab jabs whose cracking whips made the air electric during Jesus’ flaying under Pilate.’
- ‘There was the ole mas, the jab jab, the stickmen, the small bands going up and down the one-street town.’
- ‘While people in town are more familiar with the "dutty" mud and grease-covered jab-jabs with long tails and whips, in the country districts they were a more familiar sight dressed as "pretty devils".’
French Creole, from French diable diable ‘devil devil’.
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