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Jitney is an American word that first appeared in the early twentieth century. We will examine the definition of the word jitney, where it may have come from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A jitney is a vehicle, usually a bus, that carries passengers for a very low fare. The term originated in the early 1900s to describe a private bus or car that ferried people between a city bus and a taxi. The name came from the slang term, jitney, meaning a nickel. Any length of ride on a jitney cost five cents. The origin of the word jitney is uncertain. Some believe the word jitney comes from Russian Yiddish. Others believe it is derived from the French word jeton which means a token or metal disk. The plural form of jitney is jitneys. Today, the most well-known jitney buses in the United States run between New Jersey and New York City.


A volunteer firefighter sustained “moderate injuries” while fighting a blaze that tore through a jitney bus behind the Dunkin’ Donuts at 738 Anderson Ave. on Saturday night, authorities said. (USA Today)

Presently, above the clanging of yellow cars and the blended toots of the jitney horns, the driver heard a triumphant “Whoof!” right at his ear. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

For those taking jitney buses from Hudson County to the Port Authority bus terminal for work, or driving into Midtown, Rubio’s now-finished work will definitely light up the commute. (The Hudson Reporter)

A man in a wheelchair was injured when the jitney he was climbing into took off and dragged him in an attempt to escape a robbery, authorities said. (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)