1. (also chigger) a clandestine, illicit still.
|New Dict. Cant (1795).|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 49: Chigger — a still, ‘Working the chigger or jigger;’ a private still.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|New and Improved Flash Dict.|
|in Battles and Sketches of the Army of Tennessee (1906) 444: It was not considered shocking to [...] partake of the hospitality of a soldier’s tent, in the shape of a ‘jigger’.|
2. (UK Und., also jigger man) one who operates an illicit still and sells the liquor; also attrib.
|Northampton Mercury 17 Sept. 2/1: Resurrection of a Gin-Spinner [...] They discovered a private distillery, and apprehended a known ‘jigger man,’ a private still worker, named Dennis Duggan. [...] About six months ago [...] a gin-spinning establishment which he had formed [...] was broken up by the same officers.|
|Great World of London I 46: ‘Jiggers’ (defrauding the excise by working illicit stills).|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 378/2: It is suspected that he likewise does a little in the ‘jigger line’ [...] the packmen are suspected of trafficking.|
3. bootleg liquor; also attrib.
|Diogenes ii 199: Jigger-gin will kill body and brain faster than arrack punch or Sangaree [F&H].|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 387/1: The jigger spirit is above proof, and a pint will make two pints of gin-palace stuff.|
4. a drink of spirits, a dram; also attrib. [SE in 20C+].
|Harper’s Mag. Mar. 443/1: Betsy [...] would drink numerous consecutive jiggers of raw whisky without winking [DA].|
|Butte (MT) Daily Miner 14 Apr. 1/3: ‘Blizzard’ [...] There has been extensive use of the word in Pennsylvania for many years [...] A drink of any intoxicant, generally applied to whisky. Synonymous with the slang ‘a slug,’ ‘a smile,’ ‘a jigger,’ ‘a bumper.’ Example: ‘Let’s take a blizzard.’.|
|DA].Hist. Columbus I 335: The ‘jigger’ was a dram of less than a gill [|
|Hand-made Fables 149: The Colonel’s Birthday Parties had gone the way of the Jigger and the Jazz Band.|
|Minstrels of the Mine Patch 315: Jigger Boss: A company official who dispersed whiskey rations at Maunch Chunk in the 1820’s.|
|Joe Gould’s Secret (1996) 21: A couple of beers or a single jigger of gin will untie his tongue.‘Professor Sea Gull’ in|
|Diamonds Are Forever (1958) 91: People are so dam’ sensitive about colour around here that you can’t even ask a barman for a jigger of rum. You have to ask for a jegro.|
5. a small glass or metal cup, a measure used in mixing cocktails.
|New York Day by Day 16 Nov. [synd. col.] The ‘jigger’ glass which many saloon-keepers are intriducing to guarantee that no patron [...] can get over the two and one-half finger mark.|
|Gangs of N.Y. 93: Standing before the bar drinking a jigger of hot rum.|
|Big Clock (2002) 94: He dropped the first jigger [...] and only finally managed to fill the second one.|
|Harder They Fall (1971) 105: He held up his jigger ceremoniously.|
6. (US) a young man who frequents soda fountains in the hope of picking up girls.
|L.A. Times 4 May II 4: Herewith another installment of snappy younger generation slang just broadcast from eastern points, where it has its origin: [...] Jigger: A soda-fountain Adonis.|
liquor made at a secret still.
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 387/1: They carry about their person pint bladders of ‘stuff,’ or ‘jigger stuff’ (spirits made at an illicit still).|
1. a seller of illicitly distilled spirits.
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 387/1: Two, and sometimes three, female lace-sellers are also ‘jigger-workers’. They carry about their persons pint bladders of the ‘stuff,’ or ‘jigger stuff’.|
2. a drinker of such illegal spirits, esp. whisky.
|DSUE (8th edn) 619/2: –1896; ob.|