Jack be nimble

NickJunior

Senior Member
Khmer
Hi,

Here is a context:

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jumped over a candlestick.
What exactly does the words Jack be nimble mean? Does it mean that Jack has to be get ready? Please confirm.
 
  • NickJunior

    Senior Member
    Khmer
    According to the WordReference Dictionary, the word nimble means moving quickly and lightly. So "Jack be nimble" means Jack is expected to be moving quickly and lightly, right? Please confirm.
     

    Lis48

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Myself, I think because it is an old rhyme about the notorious pirate Black Jack, it just is the old word for "was" rather than an imperative. "Jack was agile, Jack was quick, Jack jumped over the candlestick." They used to jump over tall candles for fun in the old days!
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Myself, I think because it is an old rhyme about the notorious pirate Black Jack, it just is the old word for "was" rather than an imperative. "Jack was agile, Jack was quick, Jack jumped over the candlestick." They used to jump over tall candles for fun in the old days!
    The rhyme is not about a pirate; this is mere speculation. One might also note that the rhyme uses "jump", not "jumped".
     
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