Green’s Dictionary of Slang

juke n.1

also jook
[? Gullah jook/joog house, a disorderly house, a house of ill-repute; ? ult. Bambara (dial. of Mandingo) jugu, wicked, violent]

1. (orig. US black, also jookery, jook joint, juke house, juke joint, juke saloon) any establishment offering drink, food, music or dancing.

[US]Z.N. Hurston Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1995) 77: How he gointer be here, and layin’ all ’round de jook behind de cotton gin wid Delphine?
[US]S. Kennedy ‘Pedro and Estrella’ in the Folklore Project, Federal Writers’ Project, 1936–1940 🌐 I suggest a cafe of some sort — anywhere we can dance and buy drinks. ‘You don’t mean a jook joint, do you?’ Estrella asks. ‘Jooking is for unmarried men.’ ‘That’s what you think,’ replies Pedro, ‘plenty married men go jooking.’ ‘I know they do, but that’s not so good.’ ‘You don’t know what jooking means. Jooking means having a good time anywhere, drinking and dancing.’.
[US]P. Wylie Generation of Vipers 62: We are a sexy folk [...] frequently on the make in bush and juke joints.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 129: A jook, which is a sort of a roadhouse where refreshments are sold and dancing goes on.
[US]J.E. Dadswell Hey, Sucker 71: Chicago’s [...] jookeries, Niteries, basement bazaars, pinball centers and other amusements.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 227: The quiet took me away [...] from the bars and the jukes.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 893: There was not a single light to be seen. [...] No streetlights. No neon on the juke joints.
[US]H. Gold Man Who Was Not With It (1965) 97: Did yall know I have a juck joint of mown? A fish fry?
[US] ‘The Fall’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 82: In a greasy spoon or a juke saloon, / You can find them killing their time.
[US]J. Baldwin Blues for Mister Charlie 39: papa d’s juke joint: Juke box music, loud.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 29: I stopped by Pretty Phil’s, a pimp pal’s juke saloon and two story trick hotel.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 118: I was getting hungry and decided to chance the food in the first halfway decent-looking juke joint.
[US]Maledicta IX 148: The compilers ought to have looked farther afield and found: […] juke house, parlor house, peg house.
[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 91: What was once called ‘jiving’ and heard only in pool halls, on street corners, in school yards, game rooms and juke joints has become a new musical-linguistic form.
[US]Rebennack & Rummel Under A Hoodoo Moon 2: A gangbusters DA [...] padlocked the gambling dens [...] juke joints, and temples of tricknology.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 92: He’d seen too many country boys waste themselves and their pay in the jukes and bars.
[US]N. Tosches Where Dead Voices Gather (ms.) 250: Through the juke joints and the vaudeville halls and the minstrel tents alike.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 161: We Words (My Favorite Things) [...] Juice. Jah. Jook.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 14: Fleet #2 tailed the roundheeled redhead to juke joints and hot-sheet motels.
[US]T. Pluck Boy from County Hell 139: She’d heard her father talk about the sheriff busting up white juke joints.

2. (orig. US black) cheap, raucous music played at similarly inclined roadhouses, cafés and brothels.

[US]C. Major Juba to Jive.

3. (US, also juker) a jukebox.

[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 56: Bruno put a nickel in the nearest juke and it played a throaty blues singer.
[US]J. Blake letter 17 Mar. in Joint (1972) 48: A band burst into dance music, live music, baby doll, not a jook.
[US]H. Gold Man Who Was Not With It (1965) 51: The jukers bother you? It’s pretty loud.
[UK]J. Sandford Whelks and the Chromium (1968) 116: There’s a juke [...] Let’s have a tune eh.
[UK]C. MacInnes Mr Love and Justice (1964) 10: You got some pieces for the juke?
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 164: The boom of the big juke pumping away on the other side of the wall.
[US]S. King Christine 86: The juke is an old Wurlitzer bubbler.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 301: Brenda Lee pining ‘I’m Sorry’ from the juke.
[US]G. Pelecanos Night Gardener 87: The juke was playing a cover of ‘Jet Airliner’.