Rap Jacket

Rap jacket n

Also rap jack

Also sp wrap jack(et)

SouthSouth Midland

A contest of endurance in which people beat one another with switches; hence v phr play rap-jacket to administer a beating; v phr rap jack to beat with a stick.

  • 1880 (1881) Harris Uncle Remus Songs 125 GA [Black], He let inter Brer Fox wid de hick’ries, en de way he play rap-jacket wuz a caution ter de naberhood.
  • 1884 Anglia 7.275 Sth, S Midl [Black], To play rap-jacket = to thrash soundly.
  • 1893 Shands MS Speech 52, Rap-jacket. . . A term used by all classes to mean a game of whipping, in which two boys are given switches, and whip each other with all of their might until one says “enough.” They both thus have their jackets thoroughly rapped, if they happen to have on those garments. Two boys who have been fighting at school are very frequently punished by the teacher’s making them play rap-jacket until he tells them to stop.
  • 1909 DN 3.362 eAL, wGA, Rap-jacket. . . A game in which the contestants stand up and whip each other with keen limber switches until one yields or runs away. Also wrap-jacket.
  • 1972 Jones–Hawes Step it Down 186 eGA [Black], Mama and them would take those long switches . . and they would play Rap Jack, just hit one another with the switches. . . Mama used to play it, too . . and they’d stand out there, used to rap jack one another.
  • c1974 Jones Ozark Hill Boy 6 AR (as of c1910), The favorite games were—“Double Cat”, “Fox and Hounds”, “Anti-over”, “Wrap Jack”, “Follow the Leader”, “Head in the Hat”, . . and many other games requiring little or no equipment.

Source: Dictionary of American Regional English


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