- any of several noisy, vivacious birds of the crow family, subfamily Garrulinae, as the crested Garrulus glandarius, of the Old World, having brownish plumage with blue, black, and white barring on the wings.Compare blue jay, gray jay.
- Informal. a simpleminded or gullible person.
- a marijuana cigarette.
- John,1745–1829, U.S. statesman and jurist: first chief justice of the U.S. 1789–95.
- a male given name.
- any of various passerine birds of the family Corvidae (crows), esp the Eurasian Garrulus glandarius, with a pinkish-brown body, blue-and-black wings, and a black-and-white crestSee also blue jay
- a foolish or gullible person
- John 1745–1829, American statesman, jurist, and diplomat; first chief justice of the Supreme Court (1789–95). He negotiated the treaty with Great Britain (Jay’s treaty, 1794), that settled outstanding disputes
c.1300, common European bird (Garrulus glandarinus), from Old North French gai, Old French jai “magpie, jay,” from Late Latin gaius “a jay,” probably echoic and supposedly influenced by Latin Gaius, a common Roman proper name. For other bird names from proper names, cf. martin and parrot. Applied to the North American blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) from 1709. Applied to humans in sense of “impertinent chatterer, flashy dresser” from 1620s.
“fourth-rate, worthless” (e.g. a jay town), 1888, American English, apparently from some disparaging sense of jay (n.). Perhaps from a decaying or ironical use of jay “flashy dresser.”