Scrabble game, Jigger
Scrabble board game / Wikipedia

Jigger has 28 different meanings in English

When we translate we often ask customers for reference material or examples to better understand the context of the translation. But what exactly does this mean?

Let’s consider the following … “If the jigger seems to be broken, replace it immediately. We recommend type 2 jiggers marked in blue in our catalog.”

What does that mean? Jigger can be …

  1. a handcar, a hand-operated railway car
  2. a jigger flea or chigoe flea, a parasitic arthropod found in tropical climates that may cause an inflammatory skin disease
  3. a Liverpool term for an ‘alleyway’
  4. a pallet jack
  5. a surveyor’s total station (electronic theodolite)
  6. a tool for setting fish gill nets under ice, made of wood and metal and operated via rope from the surface
  7. in golf, an old metal golf club with a narrow face
  8. a rest for a billiard cue
  9. a miner who sorts or cleans ore by the process of jigging; one who jigs (verb)
  10. the actual sieve used in jigging ore
  11. an Irish dancer: dancer of jigs and reels
  12. in textiles, it’s a device used in the dyeing of cloth
  13. in pottery, the horizontal lathe used in producing flatware
  14. a pendulum rolling machine for slicking or graining leather
  15. a light all-purpose tackle
  16. a small sail set in the stern of a yawl or similar boat
  17. a boat having such a sail
  18. a jigger mast
  19. a small fishing vessel, rigged like a yawl
  20. any of a number of mechanical devices having a vibratory or jerking motion
  21. a type of hydraulic lift in which a hydraulic ram operates the lift through a block and tackle which increases the length of the stroke
  22. a device or thing the name of which is unknown or temporarily forgotten
  23. a small tackle consisting of a double and single block with a rope
  24. a small glass, especially for whisky, with a capacity of about one and a half ounces
  25. a cigarette
  26. a gadget

As a Verb

  1. To alter or adjust, particularly in ways not originally intended
  2. Rearrange or tamper with, e.g. conventional price indexes often jigger the market basket’s contents

That’s 28 different meanings before we even discuss slang versions of the word.

The learning is, that from a simple word you can have many different meanings. It’s impossible to translate the original sentence we quoted without knowing the context of what you are talking about. Next time you’re working with a translation agency, or an advertising company for your products, make sure you give them images, diagrams and background information for your project. This will allow them to give the correct translation or interpretation to you first time, every time.

At STAR, we specialize in technical translation and we have our own dictionary management systems for every customer and industry; terminology management is the cornerstone for professional quality translation.

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