jailbait

American and Australian English

Meaning: someone below the legal age of consent

For example:

  • He claims he had no idea the girl was jailbait, and insists that she told him she was nineteen years old.

  • One of the greatest novels in the English language is about a man who falls for a girl even though he knows she's jailbait. It's called "Lolita".

Origin: From the fact that in many countries an adult having sexual contact with an underage partner can be given a jail sentence. The underage partner is "bait" that could lead to jail.

Variety: This is typically used in American and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

If a guy falls in love with a girl who's jailbait, he should

a. ask her to marry him

b. ask her to sleep with him

c. wait until she's older

Slang of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey