Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (jăk′lĕg′) Chiefly Southern & South Midland US
1. Lacking skill or training; incompetent. Used especially of lawyers or preachers.
2. Unscrupulous or dishonest.
3. Makeshift; temporary.
1. An unskilled or unscrupulous itinerant worker.
2. A strikebreaker.

[Perhaps jack + (black)leg.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


amateur; untrained; incompetent
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. adj.
1. unskilled or untrained; amateur.
2. lacking professional scruples; unethical.
3. makeshift; temporary.
4. an unskilled or unscrupulous itinerant worker or practitioner.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
He has been told many a time how the born- and-trained novelist works; won't he let me round and complete his knowledge by telling him how the jackleg does it?
Duse was born to a family of street musicians and made her professional debut at the age of 4 when she was pushed onto a stage to play Cosette in an early jackleg production of Les Miserables.
The list was compiled by the website 24/7 Walt Street, which the mayor described as "probably a jackleg group."
The three-day event features 400 booths, an investors' forum, a gala dinner, an Indigenous forum, equipment demonstrations, networking and technical sessions, and even a jackleg drill competition.
When he opened the pneumatic lines and fired up the jackleg to show them how to bore into a rock face, he didn't mention how you could bruise or break a bone if the unwieldy drill kicked out and sent you sprawling.
"Unfortunately, I let a jackleg try to get it out, and he drilled off-center and messed up the bore.
Nevertheless, Trump, a masterful media manipulator and supreme corporate, jackleg politician and scam artist (jackleg = self-credentialed) understands better than anyone how television drives up rating and increases revenue for networks.
The drill also produces 100 pound-feet of torque and reaches rotation speeds of up to 250 rpm, which makes it an accurate and faster alternative to jackleg drilling through brick, concrete and rock.
His most recent book is "Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1999-2013.''
BJ WARD's most recent book is Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013 (IO Poetry Series/NortH Atlantic Books).
Do you believe that any jackleg bureaucrat, any egghead social planner, any compromising politician, any pay-off appointee, with no medical training and bound by no code, knows more about medicine or how to care for patients than doctors who are bona fide professionals with seven to nine years of qualifying training?