A Dictionary of the English Language
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Jade (noun 1)

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Jade. n.s. [The etymology of this word is doubtful: Skinner derives it from gaad, a goad, or spur.]

  1. A horse of no spirit; a hired horse; a worthless nag.

    Alas, what wights are these that load my heart!
    I am as dull as Winter-starved sheep,
    Tir'd as a jade in overloaden cart.

    When they should endure the bloody spur,
    They fall their crest, and, like deceitful jades,
    Sink in the tryal.
    Shakesp. Julius Cæsar.

    The horsemen sit like fixed candlesticks,
    With torchstaves in their hand; and their poor jades
    Lob down their heads, dropping the head and hips.

                        To other regions
    France is a stable, we that dwell in't jades;
    Therefore to th' war.
    Shakes. All's well that ends well.

    So have I seen with armed heel
    A wight bestride a commonweal,
    While still the more he kick'd and spurr'd,
    The less the sullen jade has stirr'd.
    Hudibras, p. i.

    The plain nag came upon the trial to prove those to be jades that made sport with him. L'Estrange.

    False steps but help them to renew their race,
    As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace.

  2. A sorry woman. A word of contempt noting sometimes age, but generally vice.

    Shall these, these old jades, past the flower
    Of youth, that you have, pass you.
    Chapman's Iliads.

    But she, the cunning'st jade alive,
    Says, 'tis the ready way to thrive,
    By sharing female bounties.

    Get in, huffy: now will I personate this young jade, and discover the intrigue. Southerne's Innocent Adultery.

    In di'monds, pearl, and rich brocades,
    She shines the first of batter'd jades,
    and flutters in her pride.

  3. A young woman: in irony and slight contempt.

    You see now and then some handsome young jades among them: the sluts have very often white teeth and black eyes. Add.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well (21) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Chapman, George (6) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66) · Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (42) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Skinner, Stephen (55) · Southerne, Thomas (4) · Stepney, George (5) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Jade (noun 1)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 6, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/jade-noun-1/.

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