Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jump v.

1. in sexual senses.

(a) [17C+] to have sexual intercourse; thus jumping n.

(b) [1940s+] to rape; to attack sexually.

(c) [1960s+] (US black/campus) to seduce, to make determined or aggressive sexual advances.

2. in Und. uses.

(a) [mid–late 18C] (UK Und.) to open, i.e. a window.

(b) [late 18C–mid-19C] to break into, for the purpose of robbery; thus jumping n.

(c) [late 18C–late 19C] (UK Und.) to cheat, to defraud.

3. to use lit. or fig. force; to oppose.

(a) [mid-19C+] to ambush, to attack, esp. a surprise attack; also to surprise (without violence).

(b) [mid-19C+] (US, orig. west) to rob, unlawfully to take possession of another’s property etc.

(c) [mid;-19C; 1940s+] to beat up.

(d) [late 19C] (S.Afr.) to seize goods wrongfully.

(e) [late 19C–1960s] (US Und.) of police, to raid.

(f) [late 19C+] (US) to rebuke, to criticize.

(g) [late 19C+] to stop and question, as of police.

(h) [1900s] (US campus) to punish.

(i) [1900s] (US) to accuse.

(j) [1920s+] (Aus./US/UK black) to arrest.

4. in sense of movement or evasion.

(a) [mid-19C+] (US) to leave, to abscond, to quit, from duty or to avoid payment.

(b) [late 19C–1930s] (US) to leave without paying one’s bill; thus jump n. an act of absconding.

(c) [late 19C+] (US campus) to miss a class; to drop a course.

(d) [1920s+] (US) to leave a job.

(e) [1930s+] (also bust a light) to fail to stop at a red traffic light or stop signal; usu. in phr. jump the lights.

5. [late 19C] (Aus.) of a convict, to become a prison warder.

6. [late 19C+] (Ulster) to convert from Catholicism to Protestantism for the material advantages such a change would confer; thus jumper n.

7. [1910s+] (Aus.) to understand, to work out [? play on SE jump to a conclusion].

8. [1920s] to secure free travel, either by getting a lift or by avoiding payment.

9. [1930s] (US) to inform.

10. in sense of pleasure.

(a) [1930s+] (orig. US black) of a place of entertainment, e.g. a nightclub, to pulsate with energy, to be full of excitement; usu. as jumping, esp. in phr. joint is jumping.

(b) [1940s+] (US black) to dance, to have fun.

11. [1930s+] (US black) to act, to behave; usu. in combs. such as jump salty etc.

12. [1940s+] (US black) to occur, to happen; see also jump off v. (3)

In phrases

jump all over (v.) [note synon. US dial. uses jump out, jump up]

[20C+] (orig. US) to attack verbally, to berate.

jump bad (v.)

1. [1940s–70s] (orig. US black) to misbehave.

2. of events, to turn dramatic.

jump bail (v.) (also jump it)

[mid-19C+] (orig. US) to disappear (usu. by leaving the country) and thus avoid a possible prison sentence while remanded on bail before trial; thus bail jump n.

jump in(to) someone’s shit (v.) [shit n. (3j)]

[1960s+] (US) to scold, to reprimand.

jump jail (v.)

[late 19C] to escape from prison; thus jail-jumper n.

jump off the perch (v.)

[1990s+] to commit suicide.

jump one’s bill (v.) (also jump one’s board)

[late 19C–1930s] (US) to abscond, esp. from a hotel or lodging, without paying one’s bill.

jump on someone’s back (v.)

[late 19C] to pay a debt for a third party.

jump salty (v.) (also fly salty) [salty adj.]

[1930s+] (orig. US black) to be annoyed or irritated, to take offence.

jump ship (v.) [SE jump ship, for a sailor to leave the ship (at a port) before the voyage has finished]

[1930s+] (US) to quit, to renege.

jump smart (v.)

[1970s] (US black) to act in a foolishly ‘clever’ manner.

jump someone’s hand (v.) [fig. use of SE hand (of cards)]

[1970s+] (US black) to threaten or victimize someone.

jump steady (v.) (also jump smooth)

[1930s–50s] (US black) to act properly, to be honest, usu. in context of a sexual relationship.

jump stink (v.)

[1940s+] (US) to attack, to turn hostile.

jump ugly (v.)

[2010s] (US) to behave in an unpleasant manner.

jump up someone’s ass (v.) (also jump on someone’s ass, jump up someone’s butt) [ass n. (2)/butt n.1 (1a)]

[1970s+] (US) to attack, verbally or physically.

what’s jumping?

[1980s+] (US campus) a greeting.

In exclamations

SE in slang uses

In compounds

jump-and-jive (n.) [jive v.1 (3)]

[1940s] (W.I.) a shoe made from old automobile tyres and very common during WWII.

jumping powder (n.)

[mid-19C] alcohol, liquor.

jump-out boy (n.)

[1990s+] (US) one who performs an ambush.

jump-steady (n.)

[1930s+] (US black) alcohol, which ensures that one keeps ‘jumping’.

In phrases

jump in (v.)

see separate entry.

jump (in) the box (v.) [one ‘jumps’ into the witness box]

[1960s+] (Aus.) to give evidence.

jump it (v.)

[1960s] to desert, to run off.

jump off

see separate entries.

jump on (v.)

see separate entry.

jump one’s horse over the bar (v.)

[late 19C–1900s] (Aus.) to barter one’s horse for liquor.

jump (on) someone’s bones (v.)

see under bones n.1

jump out

see separate entries.

jump (over) the broomstick (v.)

see separate entry.

jump the fence (v.)

[1930s+] (US prison) to make an escape.

jump the rails (v.) [horseracing imagery]

[20C+] to lose control, to disappear.

jump through one’s ass (v.) [ass n. (2)]

[1960s+] (US) to panic, to lose control, to be terrified.

jump through one’s asshole (v.) [arsehole n.]

[1970s] (US) to throw a tantrum; to scream and shout.

jump up

see separate entries.

jump up (and down) (v.)

[1970s+] (US black) to have sexual intercourse.

In exclamations

jump back!

[1960s+] (US black/campus) an expression of astonishment.

jump up my ass!

see under ass n.