J The tenth letter and the seventh of the consonant letters of the English alphabet, to which is has been added in modern days, the letter i written formerly in words where j is now used. It seems to have had the sound of y in many words, as it still has in the German. The English sound of this letter, which is precisely the same as that of g soft, as in genius, may be very nearly expressed by dzh. — Webster, 1882
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The following is an incomplete list of the remaining indexed main headings. Once a completed entry has been uploaded, it will be removed from the list below and added to the links above. Subheadings, reference locators, and cross-referenced subentries are not included in this list. Always consult the completed entry for referenced source of definition used below.
jabot – An ornamental frill or ruffle on the front of a shirt or blouse, typically made of lace.
Jack – Brindle bulldog belonging to the Ingalls family. In Pioneer Girl, Jack is traded with the horses in Indian Territory; in the published Little House books, he dies of old age in 1879 prior to the family’s move to Dakota Territory.
every man Jack – Every person without exception.
jack-knife / jackknife – A large, strong clasp-knife for the pocket.
Andrew Jackson – General and seventh president of the United States (1767-1845).
jag – A small load, as of hay or grain in the straw.
James / George, Grandpa’s brothers, misnamed in Little House in the Big Woods.
jam / jelly / preserves – Jam is a conserve of fruit boiled in mass with sugar and water. Jelly is the inspissated (thickened) juice of fruits or meat boiled with sugar; as, currant jelly; calves-foot jelly. Preserves are that which is preserved; fruit, or the like, seasoned and kept by suitable preparation. To preserve is to save from decay by the use of some preservative solution, as sugar, salt, and the like; to season and prepare for preserving; as fruits, meat, &c.; to maintain in a sound state.
Jean, Laura’s cousin – Eugene Waldvogel, son of Docia Ingalls and August Waldvogel.
jeering – To treat with scoffs or derision. To make railing remarks or reflections; to scoff, taunt, jest; flout; jibe; mock.
Thomas Jefferson – Third president of the United States (1743-1826).
jew’s-harp – An instrument of music shaped like a harp, which, placed between the teeth, and by means of a spring struck by the finger, gives a sound which is modulated by the breath.
jig – A light, brisk musical movement, generally consisting of six quavers in a bar. A frolicsome, quick dance, to such a movement.
jiggered – Astonished.
Jim / “Hairpin”, beau of Amy – Man who died after alcohol fumes ignited in his throat.
John, member of Hardscrabble Gang – Older winter term student in school when Almanzo Wilder first started school.
Johnny cake / johnny-cake – A cake made of the meal of maize or Indian corn, mixed with water, and originally baked on the hearth.
Johnny Rebs – The personification of any Confederate soldier (rebel) during the Civil War.
Johnson children, unnamed students in Perry School – Robert and Anna Johnson, children of Guttorm Johnson.
joist – A small piece of timber to which the boards of a floor or the laths of ceiling are nailed. It rests on the wall or on girders.
jostle – To run against and shake; to cause to totter or move unsteadily; to disturb by crowding; to crowd against.
journey-cake – Another name for Johnny cake.
jubilation – The act of declaring triumph.
jug – A vessel, usually earthen, with a swelling belly and narrow mouth; any earthen vessel employed to hold liquors; a large earthen or stone bottle.
jumper / jumper-roll – Originally a fur under-jacket; in Farmer Boy, a long outer garment worn to protect the clothes while doing barn chores.
“Jumping Jehoshaphat!” – An oath, the name a euphemism for Jesus, in use by the 1860s.
jungle-picture – Reference to specific illustrations in Pa’s animal book.
Justice of the Peace – An elected or appointed lower court officer whose duty was to preserve order.