General English

General Science


  • noun a sudden rise


  • verb to go away suddenly


  • noun a programming command to end one set of instructions and direct the processor to another section of the program
  • verb to direct a CPU to another section of a program


  • noun an act of advancing quickly down the wicket
    Citation ‘The jump, or the run to drive, was not a stroke they remembered only when they found themselves tied up by a length bowler’ (James 1963)
  • verb to move quickly forward out of one’s ground, especially in order to make a drive; by going down the wicket, the batsman is able to convert a ball of full length into a half-volley
    Citation ‘Hopkins jumped at one from Rhodes and missed, but was back before Lilley … could get the bails off’ (Melbourne Argus 12 December 1903)
    Citation ‘The best method of meeting him is to be ever ready to jump out to drive anything the least over-pitched’ (Warner 1934)


  • A computer instruction that switches the CPU to another location in memory. Also called jump instruction, or branch (4).


  • verb to miss a page or a line or space when printing


  • noun an act of sexual intercourse. This old vulgarism has been revived since 2000, and was defined by one user (a London student) as ‘a comedy term for sex used to embarrass mates in innocent situations, i.e. “they’re going for a jump” when they are just going for a walk’.
  • verb to have sex with. This term implying male assertion, domination or assault has been in use in English since the 17th century. It is paralleled in many other languages (the french equivalent is sauter). The word is now often used by street-gang members, etc. to refer to indecent assault, influenced by the term’s colloquial meaning of to attack unexpectedly.

Origin & History of “jump”

Until the early modern English period, the words for ‘jump’ were leap and spring. then, apparently out of nowhere, the verb jump appeared. Its provenance has never been satisfactorily explained, and etymologists fall back on the notion that it may originally have been intended to suggest the sound of jumping feet hitting the ground (the similar-sounding bump and thump are used to support this theory). And certainly one of the earliest known instances of the word’s use connotes as much ‘making heavy contact’ as ‘rising’: ‘The said anchor held us from jumping and beating upon the said rock’, Sir Richard Guylforde, Pilgrimage to the holy Land 1511.

Jumper ‘sweater’ (19th c.), incidentally, appears to have no etymological connection with jump. It was probably derived from an earlier dialectal jump or jup, which denoted a short coat for men or a sort of woman’s underbodice. This in turn was borrowed from French juppe, a variant of jupe ‘skirt’, whose ultimate source was Arabic jubbah, the name of a sort of loose outer garment.