Preamble: my contribution to this week's Saturday Rhymers theme - with apologies to anyone called Jack.

Men called Jack must always complain

About their name being taken in vain.

In language, literature, songs and nursery rhymes

The name “Jack” crops up time after time.

Whenever a male figure is expected

Chances are a character called “Jack” will be selected.


What have these poor guys ever done

To be known for all trades and yet masters of none?

Are there really any Jacks that are so full of spite

They don’t care about others as long as they’re “alright”?

The Cousin Jacks from Cornwall may have mined the lode,

But in rock n’ roll poor Jack is told to “hit the road”.


Now nursery rhyme books from front to back

Are chock full of tales about boys called Jack.

There’s opportunist Jack Horner with his plum pie

The story of Jack-a-nory, or Jack who jumped so high

To nimbly avoid injury over the candlestick.

Then there’s the house that Jack built (presumably of brick).


There’s the fun family fable of Mr Jack Sprat

With his peculiar diet and his wife so fat

And everybody’s heard of poor Jack and Jill

And their unfortunate tumble down a dangerous hill.

(We learn that the cure for a broken crown

Is vinegar on paper and a bit of a lie-down).


Jack appears in fairy tales as often as he can

Is this in fact because the name was simply slang for “man”?

There’s Jack the giant killer, Jack Frost so cold.

Jack who climbs the Beanstalk to steal the giant’s gold.

Silly Lazy Jack, who kept being so daft

Until the rich man’s daughter saw him and laughed.


Oscar Wilde brings to Jack rebukes of the sternest

For failing, it seems, to be sufficiently (called) Ernest.

Then in language itself, the word “Jack” also thrives,

It’s found in jackdaws, jackhammers, jack leads and jack knives

We jack things up, jack things in, and other collocations

Some of which can have rather sordid connotations.


Here are just a few Jacks, there’s many that I’ve missed

It would take a lifetime to go through the whole list.

In language and literature, folk called Jack abound

It seems that where’s there words, there’s a Jack to be found.


But despite their name being something of a joke,

Every guy called "Jack" I've known has been a lovely bloke.

A mean and scary Jack ,that would wish people ill,

Really wouldn’t seem to linguistically fit the Bill…


But that’s another story.






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Becky Who

Mon 19th Nov 2018 10:37

Thanks for the kind comments as always guys. We had fun with this theme, didn't we? I nearly didn't make it - stayed up too late the night before trying to finish researching it. So maybe a few rhymes are a little contrived...

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Martin Elder

Sun 18th Nov 2018 23:15

I think that you have used the word Jack to really good effect. Now I am familiar with your style I can imagine you performing this.

nice one

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Taylor Crowshaw

Sat 17th Nov 2018 20:31

Nice one Becky..😃

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 17th Nov 2018 13:12

A worthy and well researched addition to the theme.
Young kids used to play
With Jack In The Box;
Now old kids stay
With Jack In The Blogs!

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Don Matthews

Sat 17th Nov 2018 10:23

It's nice that you've apologised to
Anyone with the name Jack
But you missed an apology to
Poets with poems also 'Jack'

(You're forgiven 😎)

Jack Horner was quite opportunist
Wanted more than a plum in a pie
Went straight for the plum in sweet Mary
Got a boot in his foo, fum and fie (oops wrong nursery rhyme)

We've found out the perils of going
Up a big hill with a lass
Having more than the hill created bigness
Then he went for a roll in the grass

All Rhymers, all Clubbers have excelled here
With Jacks bouncing here, bouncing there
I didn't see one bounce out box though
Maybe in poetry that's rare 😎

Well done all

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Brian Maryon

Sat 17th Nov 2018 09:28

Becky you've done a great job with this theme, though I would have expected a Jacques in there somewhere.

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Jon Stainsby

Sat 17th Nov 2018 09:02

I love this.

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