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[dem-i-jon] /ˈdɛm ɪˌdʒɒn/
a large bottle having a short, narrow neck, and usually being encased in wickerwork.
Origin of demijohn
1760-70; by folk etymology < French dame-jeanne, apparently special use of proper name Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for demijohn
Historical Examples
  • Not but that she was always handsomely dressed, as Mrs. demijohn was very well aware.

    Marion Fay Anthony Trollope
  • "I—that demijohn that you took last night," began the Briton nervously.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • My father was a professed Christian, so also was my grandfather, yet each of them kept a demijohn of whisky in the house.

  • A simple tank can be made from a large water bottle or demijohn.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • He rolled a dirty bundle out of the way and pulled a demijohn toward him.

    Caybigan James Hopper
  • The demijohn was introduced, and all paid their respects to it.

    The Citizen-Soldier John Beatty
  • The flavour will be much improved by cracking the stones, and putting them into the demijohn before you pour on the liquid.

  • The man with the demijohn gave a curious hop, skip and jump.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • He reached resolutely for the demijohn and took a hearty drink whereat Virginia sat down with a sigh.

    Shadow Mountain Dane Coolidge
  • He lifted the demijohn of whiskey from the table and shook it.

British Dictionary definitions for demijohn


a large bottle with a short narrow neck, often with small handles at the neck and encased in wickerwork
Word Origin
C18: probably by folk etymology from French dame-jeanne, from dame lady + Jeanne Jane
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for demijohn

1769, partial translation and word-play from French damejeanne (late 17c.) "Lady Jane," term used for large globular wicker-wrapped bottle, perhaps because its shape suggested a stout woman in the costume of the period. A general Mediterranean word, with forms found in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Arabic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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