1. (orig. Aus., also jocker) a man, a person, sometimes with implications of incompetence.
|Sporting Mag. XXXVIII 50: Six jokers on horse-back were standing stock still.|
|Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 252: Such a fine, spirited, clean-heeled sort of a joker.|
|Peter Simple (1911) 10: That’s what you’ll learn to do, my joker, before you have been two cruises to sea.|
|N.Y. Aurora 7 Sept. n.p.: [I]n the nightly habit of meeting several moral, steady, and pious old jokers.|
|Martin Chuzzlewit (1995) 638: You were another sort of joker in those days, you were.|
|Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 442: I’ll keep the road, and take off this joker behind, who is the only dangerous customer.|
|Sydney Sl. Dict. 10/1: Where’s all the talent, Betsy? Where’s our jokers? [...] Where’s all the company, Betsy ? Where are our fancy men?|
|Sporting Times 8 Nov. 1/4: Q. Where do we get tobacco from? A. Phil Norris, and all those jokers with the awful names Ithat can never remember.|
|Workingman’s Paradise 190: First one joker in, then another.|
|Truth (Sydney) 4 Feb. 3/8: The joker handcuffed to him [...] is to be tried for killing his own wife.|
|Mirror of Life 9 June 2/3: We finally had an understanding with the joker who is boss of our shop.|
|Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 4 Sept. 2/6: An I suppose a country joker / Loses of his pocket book.|
|Pitcher in Paradise 42: These two jokers have got the foreign waiter to put this game up.|
|N.Z. Truth 26 Jan. 6/4: The same jocker got an artilleryman sacked.|
|Illus. Police News 17 Sept. 12/2: ‘Whistle away, my joker, I’ll stop that pipe presently’.Devil of Dartmoor in|
|Dubliners (1956) 122: Do you know what my private and candid opinion is about some of those little jokers? I believe half of them are in the pay of the Castle.‘Ivy Day at the Committee Room’|
|Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 2 Dec. 18/2: ‘Blime,’ says ‘Brum’, ‘if we only had that joker here who ran away from the copper at the station — he’d win this handicap’.|
|Black Gang 299: If those jokers try that game on with Mr. Latter they won’t catch me a second time.|
|🎵 There won’t be any joker, / With margin I’m all through.‘I’m In the Market For You’|
|Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 109: I’ll fix this joker.|
|Foveaux 309: You’re pretty, you can kid some of these old jokers into payin’ the rent.|
|A Man And His Wife (1944) 30: It’s tough work, he said. You can see what a weak joker I am.‘A Great Day’ in|
|Man with the Golden Arm 70: Some newspaper joker took a flash-bulb photo of Sophie.|
|Waiters 209: I know damn good an’ well you didn’t invite them jokers.|
|Big Smoke 32: It’s a fact—black or white, they’re all the same to that joker.|
|Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 19: Proper ratbag of a joker he is, too.|
|Rage in Harlem (1969) 55: These jokers in here are just waiting for man to flash his money.|
|N.Z. Jack 123: Why do you get all gooey about a joker like Koko?|
|(con. 1941) Gunner 63: ’Ere, wait on, you jokers! ’Ang on.|
|Ladies’ Man (1985) 102: Who’s the joker?|
|On the Yankee Station 1982) 17: I only tell you this to give you some idea what the city is like. It’s full of jokers.‘Not Yet, Jayette’ (in|
|G’DAY 20: DAVO: Oo’s this joker, Les? LES: God Botherer by the looks of it.|
|Skin Tight 136: Neither of these jokers wanted to see his own face on prime-time TV.|
|Homeboy 12: A pale joker in his late twenties.|
|Indep. Rev. 1 June 2: The fun of digging your knees into the back of the poor joker in front.|
|thelondonpaper 4 Sept. 32: Our original joker looked as though his parade had been well and truly golden-showered on.|
|Viva La Madness 68: I’ve got some joker on the other line.|
|Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] These too smart-too dumb jokers from ASIO talk the talk.‘Some Protection’ in|
|Cherry 51: ‘I have a joker here says he wants to be a ninety-one whiskey, says he’s tryin to go ASAP’.|
2. (US) any thing or situation that poses a problem, a hidden catch, a surprise [card imagery].
|in Saint Louis (MO) Reveille in (1990) 207: The Major discovered the little joker [i.e. a lost coin] in his pocket.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 23 May 12/1: The Evening News suggests that […] Lord Augustus Loftus should ‘stand at the head of his troops at Moore Park, Sydney, and there hold a real levee – a levee en masse of the people.’ ‘At the head of his troops’ is good, but a ‘levee en masse of the people’ is the ‘joker.’.|
|Boy’s Own Paper 30 Mar. 404: What’s this little joker over here?|
|Dict. Amer. Sl.|
|Und. Speaks 65/1: Joker (nigger in the wood pile), laws, investigations, vice abatements, controversies, political appointments, newspaper articles, speeches or contracts arranged for […] so that the looters in on the in will be financially benefited.|
|Amboy Dukes 93: So long as Kenny was safe. That was a joker.|
|USA Confidential 158: Some geniuses discovered a joker in the statutes.|
|(con. 1916) Tin Lizzie Troop (1978) 145: And now the joker in the deck, Dinkle.|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 286: To find a joker in the deck.|
|Indep. Mag. 17 July 34: The 20th century dealt them the joker in the pack – their ‘home’ retirement became another series of nomadic nightmares.|
|Skinny Dip 191: I been shot by a joker once.|
3. (Aus.) a prostitute’s kept man, possibly a pimp.
|Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 10: Where’s all the talent, Betsy? Where’s our jokers? I haven’t had a drop of lush since they went out with Tiger Liz, and I must have some white satin. / Where’s all the company, Betsy? Where are our fancy men? I haven’t had a drop of drink since they went out with Tiger Liz, and I must have some gin.|
4. a black person.
|Walls Of Jericho 297: Synonyms of Negro [...] : jigwalker, joker, kack.|
5. (US black) an adulterous lover.
|dChicago Defender 28 Dec. 4: She was married [...] Three weeks later I saw her coming out of a State street tavern with a ‘joker’. She tried to dodge [...] The funny thing about it is we all know her and all know the ‘joker’.|
6. (US gay) a masculine homosexual.
|Homosexual in America 112: A strong distinction between the active and passive pederast; for former, such words as daddy, joker, and wolf are used.|
7. (W.I.) anyone who is given authority but performs their work with irritating incompetence, thus ‘a disgrace to one’s profession’.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
a term of address.
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 23 Mar. 3/1: ‘You’re there, my joker, are you,’ says I.|
|Punch Almanack n.p.: Nobby larks upon the Ninth, my joker.‘Cad’s Calendar’ in|
|Keisha the Sket (2021) 19: ‘LOOOL, joka, naa gyal aint dat loose’.|