1. [14C–17C; 20C+] a fool.
2. [1900s] (US Und.) a drunk individual who is made the victim of a theft.
[1920s+] (Irish) to play the fool; thus jack-acting n.
[16C] to beat or scold severely.
1. [17C] to act the villain. [play on jack = the ‘knave’ in cards].
2. [19C] to play the fool.