Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jam n.2

[SE jam, the fruit conserve]

1. in context of pleasure, advantage [orig. sporting jargon real jam, anything exceptionally good].

(a) profit, an advantage.

[UK] ‘The Slap-Up Cracksman’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 43: So flick the suck — or draw the clicks, / The lil, the jam, or bung from kicks.
[UK]A. Hope Dolly Dialogues 37: He gloried in his crime; if I remember his exact expression, it was that the jam was jolly well worth the powder.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Last Term’ in Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 266: Jam for the Sixth! Jam for us! Either way it’s jammy!
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 345: I’ve got a good thing, a certainty for to-day [...] It’s real jam.
[Scot]‘Ian Hay’ First Hundred Thousand (1918) 277: The whole business must be perfect jam for the Boches in Berlin.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 97: Rubbing up against highclass hustlers every day and getting jam full of ginger.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 175: The Coronation’s jam, you mug [...] London’ll be stinking with money.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 57: I don’t say it was all jam for the audience.
[Ire]H. Leonard A Life (1981) Act II: Still, isn’t it money for jam?
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘The Yellow Peril’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] What do you want for nothing? Jam on it?
[UK]Indep. Rev. 5 Oct. 8: It has rapidly become part of the ‘jam today’, instant gratification society.

(b) something very enjoyable.

[UK]H. Christmas in Pegge Anecdotes of the Eng. Lang. 295: ‘The cheese,’ is evidently a phrase of the same character as the American ‘jam’.
[UK] ‘’Arry to the Front!’ in Punch 9 Mar. 100/2: Charlie, yer see, here’s the jam, / The Swells as was used to pooh-pooh us, now follers our lead like a lamb.
[UK]Sporting Times 8 Mar. 3/2: Now, Sir Frederick, if you will only put some nice presentable girls behind that [...] bar, it will begin to look like real jam!
[UK] ‘’Arry on ’appiness’ in Punch 3 Jan. 4/1: And without Real Jam — cash and kisses — this world is a bitterish pill.
[UK] ‘’Arry in ’Arrygate’ in Punch 24 Sept. 133/1: But way-oh. Charlie! ’Arrygate isn’t all jam.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 66: Real Jam, in sporting, means anything exceptionally good.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 178: The only section of the audience that really seemed to enjoy the idea was the Tough Eggs, who yelled with enthusiasm. It was jam for the Tough Eggs.
[US]Da Bomb Summer Supplement 9: Jam [...] 2. (n.) A really good song.

(c) anything easy.

[UK]‘F. Anstey’ Vice Versa (1931) 196: Ah! [...] I thought you wouldn’t find it all jam! And yet you seemed to be enjoying yourself, too.
[UK]M. Harrison Reported Safe Arrival 33: To a sojer like ole Smudge ... an’ me ... it was jam.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 190: If, in the punch-up, the law decorated his face, it was jam to explain it away.

(d) (orig. US black) a choice, a preference; a lifestyle.

[UK]‘Aidan Truhen’ Price You Pay 50: And yet Mr Linden that is not my jam sir it is not my Tao it is not my way of being in the world my Urgeist whatever.

2. (Aus.) images of excessive ‘sweetness’.

(a) affectation, pretentiousness; thus show jam, to act in an affected manner.

implied in put on jam
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 6 Jan. 1/1: The Premier, [...] the benevolent purveyor of ‘jam’ at binjie-bursting banquets.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Dec. 17/3: I finds a couple o’ old pals in ther bar, an’, not to show any jam, as ther sayin’ is, I hes a drink wid ’em, an’ as per usual, one drink leads to another, an’ time passes.
see put on jam .
[UK]Lawrence & Skinner Boy in Bush 249: ‘Jam and dog both mean “side”’? ‘Verily.’.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 119: Terms like frill, boiled dog, jam and guiver, connoting ‘side’ or affectation.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 234/2: jam – affectation in speech or manners.
[UK]F. Pitt-Kethley Sky Ray Lolly 54: Some who want jam on it – bums, tits and / culture.

(b) toadying.

implied in put on jam

3. (Aus./US Und., also jamb) small stolen articles, i.e. personal jewellery.

[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 39: Jam, a gold ring.
[US] in Sat. Eve. Post 12 Oct. 29: Jamb [...] Any form of illegitimate selling [...] The jamb-worker is rarer than when I was a med-show man [HDAS].
[US]G. Milburn ‘Convicts’ Jargon’ in AS VI:6 439: jam, n. Stolen small articles, such as rings, watches.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 131: jam A small stolen article [...] jam clout A shoplifting job jam clouter A shoplifter [...] jam snatch a shoplifting job.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 109/2: Jam. [...] 3. Petty stolen goods, as inexpensive watches, or costume jewelry.

4. bodily fluids.

(a) (US gay) faeces; often in the context of homosexual foreplay.

[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.

(b) menstrual blood.

[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 268: He told me she’s got her jam session going.

(c) (US black) semen.

[UK]Jagger & Richards ‘Some Girls’ 🎵 Black girls just wanna get fucked all night / I don’t have that much jam.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 125: He gave himself a few more strokes to squeeze out the excess jam.
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 32: Thirty or forty dwarves were masturbating furiously, throwing down the slimy jam like perverted seagulls.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 28: Aunty Flo arrives with homemade jam during Period 5 in Year 9.

(d) vaginal secretions.

J. Morgan on 🌐 Puss Juice: Bitch Butter, clam jam, crotch oil, fanny batter, flap snot, French Dip, goose grease, crotch gravy, love juice.

5. (N.Z. prison) prison-made alcohol.

[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 95/1: jam n. alcohol illegally brewed by prison inmates.

In compounds

jam rag (n.)

a tampon, a sanitary towel.

[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 182: Most of these ‘functional’ terms are less succinct than the ‘hole’ terms and the last occurs also in the use of gentleman’s pleasure garden padlock for an S.T. (= sanitary towel) which is also known as a manhole cover or jamrag.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 88: Lizzy [...] finished second tae the lanky strides ay big Morag ‘Jam Rag’ Henderson.
[Ire]R. Doyle Woman Who Walked Into Doors 80: If you do that for me, I said, – she’ll go to the shops and get me my jam-rags for me.
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 38: The saddened Mincey lovingly fingered the soiled jamrag in his leather pants pocket.
K. Lister in 25 Oct. 🌐 And when it comes to menstrual taboos, a coyly worded sign above the jam-rag aisle in Tesco is really the least of it.

In phrases

eat jam (v.) [SE eat/eat v. (4) + sense 4a above]

(US gay) to lick the anus.

[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 14: eat jam (v.): To perform anilinctus.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 172: to lick or suck anus [...] eat jam (’40s).
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 53: I had me a swish in Huntsville [...] He could blow some tunes [...] Liked to eat jam too, but I didn’t go for that.
give her the jampot (v.) [sense 4c above]

(US black) to have sexual intercourse.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 153: The male sex organ itself is seen as a tool for penetrating women: to dip the fly, to poke, to give her the jam pot.
put on jam (v.) (also lay on jam)(Aus.)

1. to put on airs.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 Mar. 8/4: Mrs. Alphonso looked out, and said: ‘Puts on jam, don’t she, Doodie? An’, after all, it’s only a ninepenny pompadour skirt’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Mar. 4/4: Laying on the jam like this is positively in-Dease-ent.
[NZ]Observer and Freelance (Wellington) 5 Sept. 4/3: Oh, didn’t he put on jam with them!
[Aus] ‘Fanny Flukem’s Ball’ in Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) in J. Murray Larrikins (1973) 40: I’m a cut above such jigs as that; / For spare me days, I am, / But it narks a bloomin’ girl to see / Such trollops put on jam.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 89: JAM: style, affection [sic], to put on jam; to put on side.
[Aus]‘Miles Franklin’ My Brilliant Career 219: Ladies and gentlemen [...] who paid one every attention without a bit of fear of being twitted with ‘laying the jam on’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 8 Jan. 12/4: Why, good gracious, she’s a lady! / See the jam she do put on.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 30: Sadie put a bit of jam on when she talked, but not too much.

2. to flatter.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Jun. 20/2: [T]hose in high military places in Africa have received ‘the office’ from Chamberlain and Co. to crack up the Australians. The jam is being laid on thick and slab.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Sept. 11/1: At the winding-up meeting of the committee, the other day, jam was laid thick on the plate of the Mayoral Wilfords, and it was decided to name the two wards in the new hospital ‘Georgia’ (Mrs. Wilford’s front name) and ‘Wilford.’.
real jam (n.) (also real Peruvian doughnuts) [orig. sporting jargon]

of objects or people, the best, the superlative.

[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker I 213: It’s a fine thing to write a book all covered over with Latin and Greek and Hebrew, like a bridle that’s real jam, all spangled with brass nails, but who knows whether it’s right or wrong?
[UK]Sporting Gaz. (London) 8 Apr. 4/3: Real jam — A good thing.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 268: Real jam a sporting phrase, meaning anything exceptionally good. It is said to be real jam for those who back a horse at a long price, when the animal wins, or comes to a short figure.
[UK] ‘’Arry at the Gaiety’ in Punch 5 July 309/1: Alfongs says when we two go to Parry / He’ll show me the Real French Jam.
[UK]‘Experiences of a Cunt Philosopher’ in Randiana 10: [cap. heading] I Ascertain the Meaning of ‘Real Jam’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 6/4: Let us have Australian peers by all means. It would be real jam to warn them off the turf for life, à la Ailesbury, doncher know.
[UK]Music Hall & Theatre Rev. 24 May 6/1: The Canterbury [Music Hall] holiday programme is, indeed, ‘real jam’.
[Aus]Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) 21 Mar. 3/2: The race lies between us and the favorite, and with Downey up she’s safe enough. It’s real jam this time.
[US]Princeton Union (MN) 22 Nov. 7/1: She as a snorter, too, real jam, and no mistake, a lady.
[NZ]Truth (London) 18 June 1678/3: Slang terms: [...] quality, rattling, real-jam, ripping [etc] .
[US]H.L. Wilson Somewhere in Red Gap 88: On the level, ain’t he the real Peruvian doughnuts?

SE in slang uses

In compounds

jampot (n.)

see separate entry.

jam sandwich (n.) (also jam butty) [the fluorescent coloured stripe running round the middle of the car]

a police car.

[UK]The Specials ‘Stereotype’ 🎵 A jam sandwich with flashing blue lights.
[US]D. Burke Street Talk 2 79: Jam Butty – police car.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 98: Through the leaves I saw a jam-sandwich cruise slowly and sneakily up the street.

In phrases

jam on your egg (n.) [? SE do you want jam on it?, a phr. meaning to stop complaining/being so demanding]

(Irish) wishful thinking.

[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. 🌐 Jam on your egg (n): wishful thinking; will never happen.
jam-tin brigade (n.)

(Aus. tramp) the lowest rank of itinerant, eating/cooking out of jam-tins.

[Aus]Dly Mercury (Mackay, Qld) 22 June 11/4: Train jumping to-day is common, and the old sundowner, with his quart, two-quart, and four-quart billies, is scarcely ever worried by the ‘jam-tin brigade’.