A jinx is an object or a person that is believed to bring bad luck. A jinx may also refer to an unfortunate spell of bad luck. As a transitive verb, jinx means to bring bad luck or cast a nasty spell.

The word jinx first appeared in the United States in the early twentieth century as sports slang, it was originally spelled jinks. At that time, jinx referred to anything which brought bad luck to a baseball player. The word spread into standard American English.

Many believe that the word jinx came from a woodpecker called iunx by the Greeks. The iunx can twist its neck in an unnerving fashion, leading the Greeks to believe that the bird was used by witches. However, these birds are not native to the United States. A more plausible theory is that jinx has come to us from a late nineteenth century musical comedy called Little Puck, which featured a character named Jinks Hoodoo who was described as “a curse to everybody including himself”.

Jinx is a game played in English speaking countries. When two people accidentally say the same word at the same time, the two people rush to be the first to shout “Jinx!” From there, the game plays out in different ways in different places. (1.) The two people link pinkies and must each state the name of a poet before the conversation may continue. (2.) The last person to say “Jinx!” may not speak until his name is said. (3.) The last person to say  “Jinx!” must buy the other a Coke. There are many other variations to the Jinx game.


Alex Dunbar, however, is determined to ensure that he is not the victim of some rugby jinx. (The Daily Mail)

Fawcett’s second victory in a row increased his lead in the points race and, here’s hoping we don’t jinx him, moved into the conversation for another driver of the week honour. (The Welland Tribune)

Breaking the Indo-Pak jinx: Jinnah, Nehru, Gandhi – the fault may lie in our stars, and in ourselves for not moving on (The Times of India)

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