You Mambie Pambie Jack Wagon

Jack Wagon

9 Responses to “You Mambie Pambie Jack Wagon”

  1. 1 Patrick French
    April 16, 2011 at 08:56

    This is my newest favorite word. You can call someone a jackwagon, and they aren’ 100% sure they are being insulted. You know there are but they only suspect it. Anyone who sees the commercial knows damn well you just insulted them. Cracks me up no end

    • 2 bill carberry
      November 15, 2011 at 16:17

      found this at : onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-of/jackwagon

      Jackwagon: A useless piece of equipment, usually military, used to refer to a mule-drawn freight wagon which had been pieced together from discarded or substandard parts, and subject to frequent breakdowns. Jackwagons typically were good for only one or two uses, then abandoned or discarded along roadsides and in ditches, and were often re-cannibalized to create new jackwagons.

      Altho the wagon train story sounds believable, this is a more likely answer, given the pedigree of the dude who said on the TV commercial…

  2. 3 leonard l. wilson
    November 18, 2010 at 04:32

    what ever it is (i do not know) but i will say it is really a great commerical on tv. i have heard many comments about it. i laugh every time i see it. you could not have got a better actor to have said it.

  3. 5 Zero59
    August 20, 2010 at 07:04

    From the old west wagon train Era. It refers to the Freight or Chow wagons that were pulled by Mules. Jack are male Jenny are female mules.Usually the slowest wagon in the wagon train. It was at the back of the wagon train. One of the worst jobs being in the rear eating the dust and smell of all the wagons and livestock ahead of you. This term was used to refer to you as being slow or only capable of the worst job available.

  4. 6 james k thompson
    July 16, 2010 at 22:59

    what the hell is a jack wagon???????

    • 7 SwittersB
      July 17, 2010 at 06:34

      Originally a “Jack Wagon” was simply a large, specialized wagon that hauled the massive manual jacks used back when logging was done mostly by hand. The trees were raised slightly by these jacks to allow cutting into more managable sizes for transport from remote forest locations. Over time, with the introduction modern mechanized equipment (e.g. large “Bobcat”-type vehicles, etc), the need for these heavy hand cranked jacks disappeared. Spotting a “Jack Wagon” at a logging site came to mean you had found a crew that was seriously behind the times and out of touch with gettin the job done.
      “When WWII broke out and logging camps were cleared out by the draft, this term was applied by these former loggers / new recruits to the seriously out-dated equipment the US military entered the war with. Many units were initially fielded with WWI-era rifles and artillery. The term “jackwagon” (reduced to one word) found a quick home with these troops and spread to become a general term for anything out-dated or out-of-touch with surrounding reality.
      But it wasn’t until Congress decided to make the military more “user-friendly” and “kind” in the post-Vietnam ’70s that the term spread to describing people. When cursing and swearing at recruits was banned, drill instructors (DI’s) had to find a new vocabulary to get their very loud message across. And one of the terms appropriated was “jackwagon”, meaning a recruit who was not focused on reality, the here and now or the requirements of the job at hand.
      An example of usage can be seen in a recent television commercial where a former DI correctly identifies someone off in la-la land as a “jackwagon.” Not sure if this is true or a bunch of contrived sounds good BS….but found the above as a possible explanation. SB

      • 8 TriptychWolfe
        September 5, 2010 at 15:01


        I’m intrigued by your account of the development of this term. If you have citations and/or sources for this account, would you share them with me via email?

        Many Thanks,


        • 9 SwittersB
          September 5, 2010 at 15:40

          Well, I wrote that passage and failed to cite source…thought I had. Frankly, I had never heard of ‘jack wagon’. I had heard of Nambie Pambie (Namby Pamby)…and took it as someone (male) weak and unsure. Jack Wagon…I don’t know. Sorry for not citing source. Not sure that was correct but offered it up as something to work further off. It has caught on with the net and is used quite disparagingly….as I guess I would use it also. Not particularly an Alpha’s Alpha, I do not suffer whiny men or women very long (those not suffering true hardship)…but, especially ‘men’. Something galls me re a male in his 30’s or 40’s whining. I imagine it actually galls most women…a nambie pambie jack wagon (source: swittersb) take care.


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