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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2011-08-28 18:26:52

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

"jailwalking" for "jaywalking"

The Wikipedia article describes the origin of “jaywalker” in this way:

The word jaywalk is a compound word derived from the word jay, an inexperienced person, and walk. No historical evidence supports an alternative folk etymology by which the word is traced to the letter “J” (characterizing the route a jaywalker might follow).

As I was pedestriating around downtown yesterday, the boy next to me at a red light asked his dad why they couldn’t cross since two teenage girls had just walked past us all against the light. I thought I heard dad say that the girls were “jailwalking” and therefore “breaking the law.” Makes sense to me – going to jail seems a bit harsh, but the local cops do (very infrequently) write tickets at certain intersections. There are hundreds of unique hits; this may be partially another regionalism—a disproportionate number of hits seem to be from the Phillippines, but ultimately they’re from all over. Examples:

A Garda on the beat could have a positive influence on unsociable behaviour, petty crime on a daily basis, possibly dangerous driving/cycling, jailwalking etc.

so we.. (Me, Rienzi, Zetoy, Mur and Joanne) did a warm up by walking (and jailwalking) for almost a kilometer.

But because Filipinos are naturally dare devils, no one can force them to refrain from jailwalking.

And I don’t care if it’s what you do in Canada, you’re country has the population of London, you don’t need stupid jailwalking laws. … 12-20.html

Then there is a question how high it is ranked on the crime scale.
The lower the lesser priority and it’s low, something in the region of jailwalking.
(Jailwalking means crossing the street on red light for pedestrians.)

I used to think that JAYwalking was pronounced and spelled as JAILwalking. wala lang. …

Though it has nothing to do with the word, I as a non-motorist was also interested in this comment in the Wikipedia article on jaywalking:

The term’s dissemination was due in part to a deliberate effort by promoters of automobiles, such as local auto clubs and dealers, to redefine streets as places where pedestrians do not belong.

I remember reading somewhere that bicycle enthusiasts worked hard in the late nineteenth century to get roads paved in various parts of the US, and then motorists ran them off the same roads just a few years later. California law actually allows bicyclists to ride in the middle of the lane on most residential streets, but you’re taking your life in your hands if you insist on that particular right.

Last edited by patschwieterman (2011-08-28 18:29:25)



#2 2011-08-29 10:53:29

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1562

Re: "jailwalking" for "jaywalking"

Wonderful eggcorn. Jailwalking is a national pastime here in Montreal. It’s the principal way to tell the tourists from the locals. The tourists cross at the lights and wait obediently for the “feu vert”: the green fire. Other summer sports: removing cyclists from tire treads. In the winter, cross-country skating on the flats and on hills, the involuntary skeleton.



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