I was listening to a New Yorker podcast and came across the phrase "jakery", referring to the White House Correspondant's dinner. What does this mean?

A cursory scan of online dictionaries did not provide me with an answer, though the context seemed to imply "joking". The Urban Dictionary indicates that "Jakers" is a euphemism for Jesus, so that does not help much. There is an Irish cartoon named "Jaker! The Adventures of Piggley Winks" which may back up the Urban Dictionary's explanation, but seems a bit blasphemous for children's TV.

Edit: full text (found on the site): Three nights later, at the White House Correspondents’ dinner, he deflated Trump with stinging bonhomie. The truly astounding aspect of the dinner was not the political japery but Obama’s knowledge that, as soon as the weather in northern Pakistan cleared, his own black helicopters would ferry a crew of Navy SEALs to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.

Long and Short, Martha got it in one. It's still a new word to me, but at least now I understand it.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/05/16/110516taco_talk_remnick#ixzz1Lz72WE7Q

  • I realize it can be difficult with a podcast, but can you provide more context? (If the podcast is still available, can you provide a link?)
    – Marthaª
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 20:26
  • I've included the surrounding text (the podcast is of the freeby written article - lucky). Next question: I got the spelling wrong, now rendering the original question out of date and, probably, moot. Do I change the question to include the correct word?
    – dave
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 20:54
  • 1
    Dave, I think your current edit is fine. For one thing, "what does japery mean" would probably be closed as too easy (general reference).
    – Marthaª
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 21:04

4 Answers 4


Could it have been a typo or misspelling of japery?


Any chance it could have been a jacquerie as in revolt, insurrection, uprising ?


A jake, as described by Merriam Webster dictionary, is an immature male turkey under two years of age. This definition has appropriated by Urban Dictionary, and now describes a vane human male possessed by the same immature characteristics. Depending on the familiarity of this podcaster with slang, he could have been using "jakery" as an adjective describing "something pertaining to the colloquial jake." This would most likely intended to be humorous, critical and perhaps apt, depending on the attendees of the dinner.

This is a stretch, though. It is more likely that one of the above answers regarding mispellings is more correct.

I also just noticed that it is japery. However, I feel like this answer could stand on its own as a humorous testament to what could have been.


Jakes is an coloquialism for jokes or high jinks. Jakery would be behaviour characterised by joking around.

  • Please cite some support for this description.
    – Drew
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 1:41

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