from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A bout of drinking or drug use.
  • noun A period of overindulgence in an activity; a spree.
  • noun A small load or portion.
  • noun A sharp projection; a barb.
  • noun A hanging flap along the edge of a garment.
  • noun A slash or slit in a garment exposing material of a different color.
  • transitive verb To cut jags in; notch.
  • transitive verb To cut unevenly.
  • transitive verb Scots To jab sharply; prick.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rustic; a farm-hand: as, a plow jag.
  • noun A one-horse load; a wagon-load.
  • noun A saddle-bag; a wallet.
  • noun As much liquor as one can carry: as, to have a jag on hence, a drunken condition.
  • noun A fare or catch of fish.
  • noun A lot, parcel, load, or quantity: as, a, jag of oysters.
  • To notch; cut or slash in notches, teeth, or ragged points.
  • To prick, jab, or lacerate, as with a knife or dirk.
  • Nautical, to lay or fold in long bights, as a rope or tackle, and tie up with stops.
  • To carry, as a load: as, to jag hay.
  • noun A sharp notch or tooth, as of a saw; a ragged or tattered point; a zig-zag.
  • noun One of a series of points or dags cut in the edge of a garment for ornament: a style much in favor in France and England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. See dag.
  • noun A stab or jab, as with a sharp instrument.
  • noun In botany, a cleft or division.—5. A barbed joining or dovetail; a jag-bolt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb Prov. Eng. & Colloq. U.S. To carry, as a load
  • noun Prov. Eng. & Colloq. U.S. A small load, as of hay or grain in the straw, or of ore.
  • noun (Mil.), Acronym Same as Judge-Advocate General.
  • transitive verb To cut into notches or teeth like those of a saw; to notch.
  • transitive verb a wheel with a zigzag or jagged edge for cutting cakes or pastry into ornamental figures.
  • noun A notch; a cleft; a barb; a ragged or sharp protuberance; a denticulation.
  • noun A part broken off; a fragment.
  • noun (Bot.) A cleft or division.
  • noun Scot., Scot., Scot. A leather bag or wallet
  • noun Slang, U. S. & Dial. Eng. Enough liquor to make a man noticeably drunk; a small “load;” a time or case of drunkeness; -- esp. in phr. To have a jag on, to be drunk.
  • noun a bolt with a nicked or barbed shank which resists retraction, as when leaded into stone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sharp projection.
  • noun Scotland A medical injection.
  • verb To cut unevenly.
  • verb To tease.
  • noun A binge or period of overindulgence; a spree.
  • noun a one-horse cart load, or, in modern times, a truck load, of hay or wood.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a sharp projection on an edge or surface
  • noun a slit in a garment that exposes material of a different color underneath; used in Renaissance clothing
  • noun a bout of drinking or drug taking
  • verb cut teeth into; make a jagged cutting edge
  • noun a flap along the edge of a garment; used in medieval clothing


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English jagge.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The noun is from late Middle English jagge, the verb is from jaggen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Circa 1597; originally "load of broom or furze", variant of British English dialectal chag ("tree branch; branch of broom or furze"), from Old English ċeacga ("broom, furze"), from Proto-Germanic *kagô (compare dialectal German Kag ("stump, cabbage, stalk"), Swedish dialect kage ("stumps"), Norwegian dialect kage ("low bush"), of unknown origin.


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  • Scots - an injection.

    December 6, 2007

  • I detest the Persian pomp;

    I hate those linden-bark devices;

    And as for roses, holy Moses!

    They can't be got at living prices!

    Myrtle is good enough for us,—

    For you, as bearer of my flagon;

    For me, supine beneath this vine,

    Doing my best to get a jag on!

    - Eugene Field, 'The Preference Declared'.

    September 14, 2009

  • Judge Advocate General

    April 23, 2011

  • (noun) - (1) An Americanism for drunkenness. The word is employed in a variety of ways: "He's got a jag on," he's on a drinking bout; "He's on his jags"; "He knows how it is to have the jags"; "He has the jags just now," etc.

    --Trench Johnson's Phrases and Names: Their Origins and Meanings, 1906

    (2) Jagged, drunk.

    --John Farmer's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890-1904

    January 14, 2018