Idioms beginning with J. Select an idiom for more details.

a jack of all trades

If you're a jack of all trades, you have many skills and can do many different jobs.

a jam session

If musicians play in a jam session, they play whatever they feel like playing in an informal setting.

jobs for the boys British English

If you say "jobs for the boys" you're referring to the fact that people in positions of power sometimes use their power to give jobs to their friends or family members.

jockey for position American English

If you jockey for position, you try to get yourself in a good position in relation to others who're competing for the same opportunity or the same goal.

jog your memory

If something jogs your memory, it helps you to remember something.

joie de vivre

If you have joie de vivre, you feel the joy of living.

Join the club!

You can say "Join the club!" to someone who has just experienced something unpleasant that you've also experienced, or to someone who's in an unfortunate position that's similar to your own.

join the ranks of

If someone joins the ranks of a group or class of people, they become part of that group.

joined at the hip

If two people or things are joined at the hip, they're so closely linked as to be almost inseparable.

jump down your throat | jump all over you

If someone jumps down your throat, or jumps all over you, they strongly criticise you or scold you.

jump for joy

You can say someone "jumped for joy" if they were very happy about something.

jump on the bandwagon

If someone jumps on the bandwagon, they join a movement or follow a fashion that has recently become popular.

jump out of your skin INFORMAL

You jump out of your skin when something suddenly shocks you and your whole body jumps.

jump the gun

If you jump the gun, you start doing something too soon.

jump through hoops | go through hoops

You can say you had to "jump through hoops" or "go through hoops" if you had to complete a lot of tasks before being permitted to do something.

jump to conclusions

If you jump to conclusions, you decide something is true, or make a judgement about something, before having enough information to be sure you're right.

junk food

Food that is bad for us because it contains large amounts of harmful substances like artificial colouring, preservatives, salt, refined sugar, and so on.

just in case

You can say "just in case" when describing a possible future problem and a precaution that has been, or should be, taken against it.

just in time | just in the nick of time

If you do something just in time, or just in the nick of time, you do it just before time runs out.

Just my luck!

You can say "Just my luck!" when something goes wrong for you, or when something inconvenient happens.

just shy of INFORMAL

You can say something is just shy of an amount if it's just short of that amount.

just the ticket British English

You can say something is just the ticket if it's the perfect thing or if it's exactly what's needed.

just what the doctor ordered INFORMAL

You can say something was just what the doctor ordered when it was exactly what was needed.

the jewel in the crown

If something is the jewel in the crown, it's part of a group or set of similar things, and it's the best of them all.

the jury is still out

We can say the jury is still out when a decision still hasn't been made about something.

Contributor: Matt Errey