Hijinks or high jinks

High jinks is a plural noun referring to loud chaotic play, specifically characterized by its high energy and wildness. It can also be spelled hijinks. Some say that high jinks is used within the United States, while hijinks is found outside. However, we found that there is a good mix of either spelled used in all locations. And while the dictionaries list hijinks as the variant spelling, it is growing in popularity as the preferred spelling.

The term seems to come from the verb jink which means to dodge or weave unexpectedly. It can also be used as a noun for a dodge or maneuver. When it is plural, jinks, it takes on a playful meaning like pranking someone. So high jinks is high energy play.

Examples

The bottom line is that while world opinion is mesmerized by the ghoulish high jinks of Islamic fanatics, it loses sight of Iran’s far reach, which in every respect surpasses the Islamic State’s potential for evil. [Jerusalem Post]

Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said the incident was “high jinks” and “more a prank than anything”. [Irish Independent]

You’d think that would be enough teen-related hijinks to hold Colorado over for at least the next few days, but those wacky Rocky Mountain folks just keep surprising us. [MTV]

The Argentine, all intelligent darts and on-the-shoulder hijinks, gave another display of top-drawer forward play, dragging a side that looked short on leadership to a point, which R’s chief Harry Redknapp may think they don’t deserve. [Mirror]

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