1. [17C–19C] (US) the human skin; usu. in phrs. below.
2. [mid-19C] a sheepskin.
3. [20C+] (W.I.) refs. to illegitimacy [the jacket ‘dresses up’ a man and thus confers respectability on the child].
(a) a child fathered by a woman’s lover rather than by her husband.
(b) any child who has no ‘official’ father.
(c) a man who accepts the role of father to a child he knows is not his; thus wear a jacket for, for a man to accept a child as his own.
4. [1930s+] (US Und.) ext./fig. uses.
(a) an arrest followed by an order to leave a town or city.
(b) the police/prison file on a criminal, recording previous convictions etc; one’s criminal record.
(c) a reputation, usu. bad; thus fruit jacket, a reputation as a homosexual.
(d) a witness to a crime.
(e) a jail sentence.
(f) a military service record.
5. [1960s+] (US) a condom.
6. see yellow jacket under yellow adj.
see under dust v.1
[1950s] (US) to threaten someone with an arrest and prison sentence.
see sense 3b above.
[20C+] (W.I., Jam.) for a married woman to conceive and bear a child by her lover and pass it off to her husband as his.
[1950s+] (US prison) for one inmate to accuse another of informing.
[18C] to thrash, to beat up.
[17C–early 19C] to fill one’s stomach; either with food or drink.
[1990s+] (US prison) a reputation for cowardice.
[1980s+] (N.Z.) to ostracize.
[1970s+] (US prison) a reputation as an informer.
[1960s+] (US Und.) a reputation as an informer.
[late 17C–early 19C] to beat, to thrash.
[19C] (US) in one’s stomach.
[mid–19C] (UK Und.) infuriating.
[early 19C] (US) to get drunk.