jock: several cabs had to be hustled out of their 'jocks'

O'Flagerty

New Member
Spanish - Spain
Hi,

I need the meaning of the word "jock" in the following extract:

It was rush hour, and several cabs had to be hustled out of their jocks before Murch reached
Eleventh Avenue. Three times he got the supreme accolade: Cabbies in his wake opened their
doors, put one foot on the pavement, stepped out, and shook their fists.

Is is a text from the 60s-70s. I found "jock" can mean "pilot", so maybe it is referring to taxi drivers?

I would thank any help :)
 
  • O'Flagerty

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    What is the source of the quote, please? Can you provide a link to it?
    Sorry, it's from a novel. I can't provide any link, I have it in book format. It's about a man who just stole a car and is supposed to be a very good driver. He also drives a taxi sometimes, but not in this case. Now he drives the stolen car. I'm sorry not to be able to provide more details, I don't know anything more myself.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    We ask you to name the title of the work and the author of any quotation. A link is helpful, if it is available, but it is not required.

    This is from: Bank Shot: A Dortmunder Novel (Book Two) by Donald E Westlake (copyright 1972).
    Here is a link to the text on Google books: CLICK.
    The link may not work for you, depending on the copyright laws where you are.

    Added: Cross-posted with JamesM.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The quote appears to be accurate. Murch has indeed stolen a car and is speeding across Manhattan; he apparently nearly sideswipes several taxis in the process, and the drivers probably had to swerve out of his way and were furious. But I've no idea what Westlake meant; no slang or other meaning of "jocks" seems to fit.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    Isn't "jocks" slang for underpants? So perhaps "hustled out of their jocks" is a mock-serious way of saying that he made them jump out of their pants to make way for him.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Isn't "jocks" slang for underpants? So perhaps "hustled out of their jocks" is a mock-serious way of saying that he made them jump out of their pants to make way for him.
    There's a whole raft of speculation that can be applied to "Jock"

    1. A male athletic supporter.
    2. Slang for an athlete, stemming from the meaning above.
    3. Short for "jockey," the rider of a race horse, which sometimes is used metaphorically such as "jet jockeys," meaning fighter pilots.
    4 "Jockey" is also a brand of underwear.

    Like Parla, I can't see a relationship there.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Yes, he drove so frighteningly that he scared several cab-drivers out of their jockey shorts (figuratively). Some of them were so frightened and angry (difficult to do to a New York City cab driver) that they actually stopped their cabs to get out and shake their fists at him.
     

    O'Flagerty

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    OK, so I will translate it as if the taxi drivers got very angry. I'm relieved to check that even you native English speakers don't completely understand!

    Thank you so much!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Yes, he drove so frighteningly that he scared several cab-drivers out of their jockey shorts (figuratively).
    That would indeed make sense if he'd said that the drivers were scared out of their jocks. But he said that the cabs had to be hustled out of their jocks (and followed that with a line about angry drivers). That refers to the vehicles.

    Remember that this is from an old book. There could have been some kind of production problem, resulting in an error that has of course been reflected in scanning for the digital version. Perhaps the original read, "...cabs had to be hustled out of the way, and the drivers were scared out of their jocks." That's a logical explanation, and it's a real possibility. If you think that such an error couldn't happen: Trust me, it can. I've been there. :(
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Well.

    One more version (far-fetched).
    There is a breaking device called "jock". It is used for mining carriages for emergency braking.
    Of course one would need to know what it is before using it and counting on others to have the same knowledge, which does not seem to be the case.

    But if it were the case, "the cabs were scared out of their brakes".
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Hustled" doesn't mean "scared". I don't think that quite makes sense. I'm at a loss, like most people here, as to what it really means. Is the author still alive? Sometimes an author will answer a direct question.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Ah! you were having exactly the same thought as me at exactly the same time, Prof:)
    A just can't picture a series of cabs on a New York City street being held in place by blocks. If they had to be hustled out of something, I would think it was their position in line or their position in traffic, but it's still not a phrase I have ever heard. Then again, I've never lived in New York City.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    I think I know what it is.

    The "jocks" is indeed used in the sense of "athletic supporter".

    The expression "...out of their jocks" means something was done to a really great degree. It is an idiom, not that popular, but it does exist.
    As in "fake Team USA goalies out of their jocks", or "start decking guys out of their jocks", or "like they've got platinum bars shooting out of their jocks", "tax the jocks out of their jocks". Meaning, do all these things to a "too much" degree.

    So, the cabs were hustled (in the meaning of pushed and shoved) "too much", too strongly.

    This is it to me.

    >>>>and several cabs had to be pushed and shoved really hard before Murch reached
    Eleventh Avenue.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think I know what it is.

    The "jocks" is indeed used in the sense of "athletic supporter".

    The expression "...out of their jocks" means something was done to a really great degree. It is an idiom, not that popular, but it does exist.
    As in "fake Team USA goalies out of their jocks", or "start decking guys out of their jocks", or "like they've got platinum bars shooting out of their jocks", "tax the jocks out of their jocks". Meaning, do all these things to a "too much" degree.

    So, the cabs were hustled (in the meaning of pushed and shoved) "too much", too strongly.

    This is it to me.

    >>>>and several cabs had to be pushed and shoved really hard before Murch reached
    Eleventh Avenue.

    That certainly makes sense and there are plenty of examples in an internet search that seem to match. Has this expression been around since the 1970s? The book was published in 1972.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    That certainly makes sense and there are plenty of examples in an internet search that seem to match. Has this expression been around since the 1970s? The book was published in 1972.
    Can't answer that - I spoke no English whatsoever in 1972 :)
    And the idiom is obscure enough to impede any sleuth work.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    That certainly makes sense and there are plenty of examples in an internet search that seem to match. Has this expression been around since the 1970s? The book was published in 1972.
    NGram viewer [ out of his jock ] shows a small jump in the early 1960s and a somewhat larger jump around 1970. If Donald Westlake wasn't the coiner of this phrase, he was certainly an "early-adopter".

    I put that usage in my earlier post, and then chickened out, since I wasn't sure. The moral is: be brave (and do the research!)
     
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    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    See, it pays to be a foreigner here: if accused of talking nonsense, I can always say "hey! it's not my first language". No reputation to uphold makes life so much easier :D
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    A just can't picture a series of cabs on a New York City street being held in place by blocks. If they had to be hustled out of something, I would think it was their position in line or their position in traffic, but it's still not a phrase I have ever heard. Then again, I've never lived in New York City.
    I agree with James M. I think he made the taxis move out of their traffic positions.
     
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