Expressions using Common Names Like Jack

Poker-sm-234-JdSadao Mazuka wrote from Japan about expressions in English that use common names like "Jack", as in a "Jack-of-all-trades"…

I would like to tell about some individual names in English, such as “Jack”, “Jill”, “John”, “Johnny”, etc.

In Japanese, “Jack” can be replaced “太郎=Taroh” and “Jill” can be replaced “花子=Hanako”.  In English, names like "Jack" and "John" have been common for so long that they’re part of some common expressions and phrases. However, in Japanese we don’t have expressions with individual names such as “Taroh” or “Hanako”.

Here are some interesting English expressions involving common names with their Japanese equivalent…

I have Jack and Jill. 私には男の子1人と女の子1人がいます (I have a boy and a girl.)

Johnny-come-lately. 流行に遅れた奴 (a person who has only recently arrived in a place or started an activity)

John Bull. 英国人 (English people)

Uncle Sam. 米国人 (American people)

Johnny Reb. (or Rebel) 南軍兵士 (Soldier from the South)

Jan Kees (Yankee) 北軍兵士 (Soldier from the North )

Thanks for sharing Sadao!

Mama Lisa


This article was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 at 2:10 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, England, English, Japan, Languages, USA, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Expressions using Common Names Like Jack”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Here are some more expressions in English involving common names:

    Jack Frost (mythological bringer of Winter)
    You don’t know Jack (you know nothing)

    If anyone thinks of more, please share them in the comments below.


Leave a Reply