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A jackanapes is a presumptive, conceited person. Jackanapes can also refer to a rambunctious child.

Jackanapes is a dated term that first appeared in the mid-fifteenth century as Jack Napes, referring to a tame ape. The name Jack Napes was then applied to a duke who was accused of treason and banished, his emblem was an ape on a chain. Jackanapes went through various spellings until it evolved into its present form.


This besuited jackanapes is fit neither to represent English Magic nor lead the Labour party. (The Guardian)

You will not be surprised to learn that her manager is one Scooter Braun, the same impresario responsible for launching jackanapes Justin Bieber, the former pop star who spends more time spitting, stripping and pissing in public than he does singing and dancing anymore. (The New York Post)

Clinton toadies made exculpatory connections between the two scandals, and before long every jackanapes to visit Jefferson’s mountaintop villa could try to embarrass the docents by asking where Sally had slept. (The Wall Street Journal)

We do not have policies, but inept evasiveness: and perhaps worst of all, we have a posturing gallery of home-grown jackanapes ready to shriek “racism” wherever and whenever they see that things are not going quite the way that immigrants want. (Irish Independent)

Hence the wild mugging of Rodolphe Pauly as the minstrel Hylas, a cartwheeling jackanapes who’s forever plucking his lute while laughingly expounding his credo of carefree promiscuity. (The Independent)

As Mac chunters on about the odds, ending each of his pieces with that menacing approach to the camera and, he hopes, a pithy, bellowed, closing line, I am too distracted, not to say totally irritated, by the assembled jackanapes waving to the camera or talking on their mobile phones behind and around him. (The Telegraph)