a truckload of jack

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Dr Cox: You see those bell peppers that you're munching? They aren't going to do a truckload of jack against the cancer raging inside of your body.

Source: Scrubs 706
Background:A cancer patient kept munching bell peppers and looking up cancer information on Wikipedia on his laptop when Dr Cox was examining him. Dr Cox'd had enough of all this. He took away his laptop and set him straight.

Hi, I'd like to know the meaning of jack. I remember "jacked on" means "enhanced" in "The person is jacked on the quality chemicals". But I don't see this meaning fits in this sentence. And none of the definitions on the WR dictionary seem to work here. If I have to guess, it simply means "things"/ "stuff".
 
  • veghed

    New Member
    USA English
    "jack" can also mean "steal" oddly enough. I have heard students say, "He jacked my pencil!"

    Another common idiom is, "You don't know jack." "You don't know what you are talking about."

    Or as pob14 put it, "You don't know s---"
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Jack," in this and similar contexts, means "nothing." That is the basis for the idiom "you don't know jack" in the previous post, and for the quote that opened this thread.

    Therefore, "a truckload of jack" means "a truckload of nothing." Dr. Cox uses this very informal way of speaking to emphasize the "nothing."
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "jack" can also mean "steal" oddly enough. I have heard students say, "He jacked my pencil!"

    Another common idiom is, "You don't know jack." "You don't know what you are talking about."

    Or as pob14 put it, "You don't know s---"

    Yes, but please be careful not to confuse the original poster. ;) He wants to know what "jack" means in this context. ;) Other examples may just confuse the understanding he gains. :)

    As has been stated, redgiant, it is short for "jack shit". "Jack shit" meaning nothing.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks. I take it from the post thus far that "jack" with this intended meaning is only used in negative sentences, "You don't know jack". If "jack shit" on its own means "nothing", is it common to say "I know jack shit"?
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's almost always used with the negative, despite the fact that it's technically a double negative: We ain't got jack, she didn't say jack, you don't know jack. (Incidentally, "You Don't Know Jack" is the title of a video game series; they are trivia games, and the host makes fun of you for getting questions wrong.)

    Edit: I see that Filsmith disagrees.
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Thanks. I take it from the post thus far that "jack" with this intended meaning is only used in negative sentences, "You don't know jack". If "jack shit" on its own means "nothing", is it common to say "I know jack shit"?
    No, not really. "Jack shit" is usually rather insulting toward someone else.

    You'd most likely hear it used like:
    "My brother knows jack shit about plumbing."
    "You know jack shit about baking."
    "My boss knows jack shit about managing."

    You're not very likely to hear someone say they know jack shit. It could be said, but not usually. This is just my opinion. There are probably people that use this phrase in regards to themselves. I'd not.

    If you wanted to sort of make fun of yourself and look rather silly, you could say something like:
    "I know jack shit about parenting; I'm clueless."
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    I just want to point out that the two sentences:

    He knows jack [shit] about accounting.
    and
    He doesn't know jack [shit] about accounting.

    have the same meaning: "He knows nothing about accounting." There are regional differences, but these two structures are semantically equivalent.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the respect cited by Lucas, bugger-all is different.

    To know bugger-all - to know nothing.

    It's not usual to say He doesn't know bugger-all to mean he knows nothing. It's just not something we say much.
     
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