Definition of jingo in English:



derogatory, dated
  • A vociferous supporter of policy favouring war, especially in the name of patriotism.

    [as modifier] ‘the feverish excitement of the jingo crowds’
    • ‘Certainly, the leadership of the violent jingo crowds was middle-class.’
    • ‘The Olympic Games is a festival of nationalism, a gourmandising 17-day feast of jingo.’
    • ‘A jingo is a jingo wherever we meet him, and as far as we are concerned there is no close season for jingoes.’
    • ‘I'm sure the illustration below went down like a Steve Bell cartoon with the jingoes.’
    • ‘Over and over, the new American jingoes depict the U.S. as somehow a victim in the international economy.’
    racist, racialist, ethnocentric, ethnocentrist
    View synonyms


  • by jingo!

    • dated An exclamation of surprise.

      • ‘We don't want to fight, but by jingo, if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money, too.’
      • ‘By jingo, there are some good stoushes between media and governments at the moment.’
      • ‘By jingo, I thought, I might actually be good at this.’
      • ‘It may not be sexy but, by jingo, there is an air about it that I believe every hard-working, middle-of-the-road New Zealander would agree with.’
      • ‘Regular folks may not be seeing Westerns much any more, but, by jingo, scholarly folks sure do love to write about 'em.’
      • ‘By jingoes I'm looking forward to seeing the footage of what Deep Impact's up to on Monday.’


Late 17th century (originally a conjuror's word): by jingo (and the noun sense) come from a popular song adopted by those supporting the sending of a British fleet into Turkish waters to resist Russia in 1878. The chorus ran: ‘We don't want to fight, yet by Jingo! if we do, We've got the ships, we've got the men, and got the money too’.