rule jockey

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dudasd

Senior Member
Serbo-Croatian
I am desperately trying to discover what "rule jockey" would be here. Maybe some context can help: the girl who is saying this was first in love with James, and then began falling in love with Nick. James reappears in her life, seemingly to "save her" from Nick, but she begins suspecting that it's not about love, but about James' and Nick's competing businesses. James is telling her that he loves her, and this is what she thinks to herself:

"In his rush to defeat Nick he had assumed a role of protector, and now—rule jockey that he was—James felt obliged to speak the lines that came with the part, forgetting to ask himself whether he really meant them." (Anne Fortier, The Lost Sisterhood)

At first I thought it could be something like "a person who manipulates rules", but it doesn't make much sense; more it's like that he's decided to hold to "rules" (even if they are absurd) and be true to the role he has assumed (even if it's fake) - I just mean the possible logics of this sentence, not the very meaning of "rule jockey".

Any help is welcome, thank you in advance!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    At Dakka Dakka (a game forum) I found "don't "rule jockey" and "I hate it when someone rides the rules to death." I take a "rule jockey" to be someone (annoying) who insists that the rules be followed scrupulously.

    I don't really see how that applies to James in the story though.
     

    dudasd

    Senior Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    I take a "rule jockey" to be someone (annoying) who insists that the rules be followed scrupulously.
    This would make perfect sense (actually, it's the only logics I can see) - as I wrote up there, taking seriously even a fake role and holding to its absurd rules (saying "I love you" when he doesn't mean it) - and it is a great idea. Thank you very, very much, I just hope someone can confirm this.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The Automotive Glass Industry Forum has this interesting post:

    <<It shouldn't be hard to find a low cost accounting firm. I would definiltey look for someone with small business experience.

    Someone without experience in small business tends to be more of a rule jockey...you want someone who will help you keep as much of your money as possible.>>

    Again, the meaning is "someone who sticks to the rules in a scrupulous fashion." It's definitely derogatory.
     
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