cracker-jack

crackerjack

[krak-er-jak] Informal.
noun
1.
a person or thing that shows marked ability or excellence.
adjective
2.
of marked ability; exceptionally fine.
Also, crackajack.


Origin:
1890–95, Americanism; earlier crackajack, rhyming compound based on crack (adj.); -a- as in blackamoor; jack1 in sense “chap, fellow”

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crackerjack (ˈkrækəˌdʒæk)
 
adj
1.  excellent
 
n
2.  a person or thing of exceptional quality or ability
 
[C20: changed from crack (first-class) + jack1 (man)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cracker-jack
also crackerjack, "something excellent," 1895, U.S. colloquialism, apparently a fanciful construction. The caramel-coated popcorn-and-peanuts confection was said to have been introduced at the World's Columbian Exposition (1893). Supposedly a salesman gave it the name when he tasted some and said, "That's
a cracker-jack," using the then-popular expression. The name was trademarked 1896. The "Prize in Every Box" was introduced 1912.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

crackerjack definition


  1. mod.
    excellent; industrious. : Fred is a crackerjack stockbroker, but his personal life is a mess.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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