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

  • noun A person who violates pedestrian traffic regulations by crossing a street away from a designated crossing or who walks on the part of the street intended for vehicles instead of the part designated for pedestrians.

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

  • noun a reckless pedestrian who crosses a street illegally


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • “an alleged human being who crosses the street at other points than the regular crossings�?

    (Fort Wayne newspaper report from 1913) WWW

    October 19, 2008

  • J's the jumping jay-walker,

    A sort of human jeep.

    He crosses where the lights are red.

    Before he looks, he'll leap!

    Then many a wheel

    Begins to squeal

    And many a brake to slam.

    He turns your knees to jelly

    And the traffic into jam.

    - Phyllis McGinley, 'J's The Jumping Jay-Walker'.

    November 17, 2008

  • from Chambers dictionary: a careless pedestrian whom motorists are expected to avoid running down

    December 30, 2008

  • During this era, the word "jay" meant something like "rube" or "hick" — a person from the sticks, who didn't know how to behave in a city. So pro-auto groups promoted use of the word "jay walker" as someone who didn't know how to walk in a city, threatening public safety.

    At first, the term was seen as offensive, even shocking. Pedestrians fired back, calling dangerous driving "jay driving."

    Joseph Stromberg, The Forgotten History of How Automakers Invented the Crime of “Jaywalking Vox (Nov. 4, 2015)

    See Peter Jensen Brown, Jaywalkers and Jayhawkers - a Pedestrian History and Etymology of "Jaywalking", Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog (Nov. 24, 2014)

    August 27, 2018