Joans spinning - Juniper wood

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.

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Joans spinning


Joan is a generic name for a female rustic, and in some contexts, Joans spinning may therefore be applied to THREAD or YARN spun for home use. In this context the term would be synonymous with HUSWIFE. However, in the only example noted in the Dictionary Archive, Joans spinning appears to have been a TEXTILE. Its context suggests it was a STUFF [Tradecards (18c.)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.

Jockey cap

[jocky cap]

A peaked CAP of the style worn by jockeys that became fashionable in the second half of the eighteenth century. Two entries in the Dictionary Archive suggest the jocky cap was worn informally, largely by men, as in 'Mens Night Gowns & Jockey Caps' [Tradecards (18c.)].

OED earliest date of use: 1748

Found described as LADIES, MEN

Sources: Tradecards.

Jockey comb

A single entry for jocky combs has been noted among the stock of saddler [Inventories (1737)]. It is therefore likely to be some piece of equipment connected with the care of the HORSE, but beyond that no information has been found.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Inventories (late).

Jockeys crop

[jocky crap]

A CROP or WHIP with a loop or very short switch at the end instead of a lash; it was similar in form to a hunting crop. The rather damaged inventory of a saddler included several jockey's crops or whips, variously described and the entries heavily abbreviated [Inventories (1737)].

Not found in the OED

Found described as LARGE, SMALL Found describling HANDLE

Sources: Inventories (late), Tradecards.

Jockeys saddle

Only one entry in the Dictionary Archive recorded a jockeys saddle. It may be found in the inventory of a saddler, who also had JOCKEYS CROPs [Inventories (1737)]. The saddle would have been lighter than a normal riding SADDLE and with minimal additional features or decoration.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (late).


[joynt; jont]

The term was widely used both as a descriptor and as a label for various objects, which shared the feature of being jointed or hinged. In some instances there was no implication of movement in the joint, as in 'joint stool' [see JOINED STOOL], or in the fashionable CANE made from bamboo and thus with the strongly accented joints typical of the plant; hence 'Joynt Canes' but also in the entry more or less adjacent to the above, for '35 Joynts some with fferrrills' [Inventories (1694)].

In most cases, however, the idea of a hinge was strongly implied, and on its own 'joint' could be an alternative name for a HINGE as in 'a parcell of Joynts' found among a list of ironware [Inventories (1668)], or DOVETAIL joints [Inventories (1710)].

Citing a reference dating from 1710, the OED suggests that a joint was a SNUFF BOX with a hinged lid. The interpretation is supported by entries in the inventory of a brass founder who had both TOBACCO BOXes and snuff boxes described as 'jointed' [Inventories (1799)]. However, the term was applied much more widely, either used as a label or as a descriptor. Entrepreneurs during the eighteenth century were exploring the possibility of using hinges, and their experiments are reflected in the patents; for example, 'Buckles with new joint and spring chape fastenings' [Patents (1784)], and 'Joints; and applying the same to tea-pots, coffee-pots, coffee-biggins, tea-urns, and other articles' [Patents (1799)].

The term was also used to denote a BABY or DOLL with jointed limbs (but not normally jointed necks, judging by the entry 'Joints with Moving Heads' [Tradecards (1794)]. In this sense the term may only have been used when the context added some necessary meaning; for example in the Dictionary Archive they have only been noted in a catalogue, under a heading of 'BABY', with extra descriptors indicating further detail, such as 'Plain-eyed Joints' and 'Joints in Linen and Silk' [Tradecards (1794)].

Found described as carved, LARGE, ORDINARY, SMALL, varnished

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Tradecards.



In carpentry the jointer is a long type of PLANE used to dress the edges of a BOARD, STAVE or the like, in preparation for joining one to another. This definitions fits one of the examples found in the Dictionary Archive; 'two hagg sawes five joyntures all the Trusse hoopes & other working Tools' [Inventories (1667)]. However, the other example of '2 old Anchors 3 joynters 3 s 6 d two wind canns 2 fonnells 1 s 4 d' [Inventories (1671)], fits less comfortably, although it probably does indicate a TOOL of some sort.

OED earliest date of use: 1678

Sources: Inventories (mid-period).


[jonquille; jonquile]

A species of Narcissus, Narcissus jonqilla, having long linear leaves and and spikes of fragrant white and yellow flowers. It was popular as a garden plant, but also for use in PERFUMERY. The scent does not seem to have been as widely used as, for example, JESSAMY or ORANGE FLOWER, though it appears in the same range of products, hence JONQUIL ESSENCE, OIL OF JONQUIL, JONQUIL POMATUM, JONQUIL POWDER and JONQUIL WATER.

OED earliest date of use: 1629

As the bulb or plant: Found described as DUTCH
As the bulb or plant: Found imported

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Jonquil essence

Probably an ESSENTIAL OIL that contained the distinctive fragrance of JONQUIL; in which case a synonym for OIL OF JONQUIL.

Not found in the OED

Found described as FOREIGN

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Jonquil pomatum

This POMATUM scented with JONQUIL has not been noted together with JONQUIL POWDER, with which it would most sensibly have been used. Each has only been noted once in the Dictionary Archive, and the two were advertised by different retailers [Tradecards (1794)]; [Tradecards (1790s)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.

Jonquil powder

A POWDER perfumed with JONQUIL. Somewhat surprisingly, it has not been noted together with JONQUIL POMATUM, with which it would most sensibly have been used. Each has only been noted once in the Dictionary Archive, and the two were advertised by different retailers [Tradecards (1794); Tradecards (1790s)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.

Jonquil water

The English name for EAU DE JONQUILLE

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.

Jordan almond

[jurdon almond; jourdan almond; jord'n almond; jordin almond; jordane almond; jordan valencia and barbary almonds; jordan and valencia almonds; almonds, viz. jordan]

The name Jordan ALMOND was probably derived from the French term for garden rather than the Middle Eastern location, since they came largely from southern Spain. Its cultivation has not spread, as it is a shy bearer [Masefield et al (1969)], though they are the finest variety of SWEET ALMOND [Simmonds (1906)]. John Houghton noted that Jordan almonds were distinguished from VALENCIA ALMONDs and BARBARY ALMONDs by being 'large, long, and dear, and chiefly sold to eat with raisins', whereas the others were used mainly for the extraction of OIL OF ALMONDS [Houghton]. This was reflected in the valuations given to the various types in probate inventories. Jordan almonds were listed with values between 8d and 17d LB, whereas VALENCIA ALMONDs (the other most common type) was usually valued at about half that.

OED earliest date of use: c1440

Simone Clarke

Found described as SMALL
Found in units of CWT, HUNDRED, LB, OZ, POUND, QU Found rated by the CENT, HUNDRED, HUNDREDWEIGHT, LB, POUND

Sources: Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.
References: Masefield et al. (1969), Simmonds (1904).

Jug mustard

Jug MUSTARD has been noted only once in the Dictionary Archive, in an advertisement for various types of mustard [Tradecards (19c.)]. It appears to have been a form of READY MADE MUSTARD. One possibility is that it was not being offered packaged but that it could be bought loose, as it were to fill your own jug. However, no other evidence has come to light that mustard was ever sold in this way.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.


An uncommon COTTON - TEXTILE imported from India. It is possible that this term was used only briefly in British trade in an attempt to avoid the heavy duties imposed on MUSLIN; a stratagem an act of 1700 [Acts (1700)] was designed to thwart by defining junays as MUSLIN. Junays were not included among Milburn's list of INDIAN - PIECE GOODS [Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996)], which further suggests that it was not a common term even in India. They have not been noted in the shops in The Dictionary Archive, which suggests that if and when they were available for sale, it was probably under the generic term of muslin.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Acts.
References: Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996).


[junip'r; juniperi]

A genus of coniferous evergreen shrubs and trees, of which about thirty species are found in different parts of the northern hemisphere; specifically the common European species Juniperus communis, a hardy spreading shrub or low tree, having bluish-black or purple JUNIPER BERRIES, and providing the useful JUNIPER WOOD

OED online earliest date of use: a1400

Found describing COAL Found described as WOOD Found imported from Holland Found measured by the POUND

Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Rates, Recipes.

Juniper water

[juniper wat'r]

The OED suggests it was a cordial drink made from or flavoured with JUNIPER, presumably based on a quotation it gives dated 1666; 'A little Bottle of Juniper Water, which is the common Cordial in that Country'. Martha Bradley included a recipe for this water, which was made from the seeds of CARAWAY and FENNEL, and JUNIPER BERRIES distilled in PROOF SPIRIT. She claimed it was 'Good in Flatulencies and Pains in the Stomach' [Bradley (1756 facs.1996-8)]. John Houghton also noted the medicinal uses of this water, but said it was 'a most singular specific against the gravel in the reins' [Houghton].Once the art of making COMPOUND WATERS was truly mastered in the second half of the seventeenth century and the products cheap enough for ordinary consumption, the name juniper waters may also have been applied to the alcoholic liquor more commonly called GENEVA or GIN. In the early eighteenth century, the foreign visitor Charles Saussaure was horrified by what he saw in the streets: 'The common people', he wrote, 'and low populace have their taverns, ... [where] nothing but strong liquor is sold ... made from grains or from juniper. These taverns are almost always full of men and women, and even sometimes of children, who drink with so much enjoyment that they find it difficult to walk on going away' [Diaries (Saussure)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1666

Found in units of GALLON

Sources: Houghton, Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).
References: Bradley (1756, facs. 1996-8).

Juniper wood

The WOOD from the common JUNIPER. The wood was also chipped and burned to provide a sweet odour. According to John Houghton, if the shrub was allowed to 'arrive to full growth, it is timber for ... tables, chests, small carvings, and images, spoons, wholesome to the mouth, spits to roast meat on, to which it gives a rare taste', while CHARCOAL made from the wood 'endure longest of any' [Houghton]. It was this characteristic, rather than the sweet smell given off as it burnt, that gave rise to the phrase 'a juniper lecture' which was used when 'women chide their husbands' [Houghton].

OED online earliest date of use: 1816 under Hand of Glory, but there are several much earlier quotations in the OED under Juniper that suggest a much earlier use of the term

Found in units of LB

Sources: Houghton, Inventories (early).