AskDefine | Define jingoist

Dictionary Definition

jingoist n : an extreme bellicose nationalist [syn: chauvinist, jingo, flag-waver, hundred-percenter, patrioteer]

User Contributed Dictionary



From an old British popular song incorporating the phrase "by jingo".


  1. One who advocates an aggressive nationalism; one who vociferously supports a nation's military aims.
    • 1919: William Cowper Brann, The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast, Volume 12
      The term "jingoist;" or its equivalent, was applied to Washington and Henry, to Jefferson and Jackson. It was applied to James G. Blaine, the typical American of his time -- a man from beneath whose very toe-nails enough intellect might be scraped to make an hundred Clevelands or McKinleys. All were jingoes in their day and generation, because all preferred the title of sovereign to that of subject...




  1. Jingoistic; extemely supportive of warlike foreign policy.
    • 1988: Jeffrey Hadden and Anson Shupe, ''Televangelism: Power and Politics on God`s Frontier''
      When liberals did acknowledge the persistence of the covenant theme, they treated it like some atavistic beast, lumping it together with the largely aberrant doctrines of ultra-right-wingers, "Jewish conspiracy" advocates, Nazi sympathizers, and jingoist fanatics.





Extensive Definition

Jingoism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy". In practice, it refers to the advocation of the use of threats of or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what they perceive as their country's national interests, and colloquially to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others.
During the 19th century in the United States, journalists called this attitude spread-eagleism. This patriotic belligerence was intensified by the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbour that led to the Spanish-American War of 1898. "Jingoism" did not enter the U.S. vernacular until near the turn of the 20th century.


Through much of the Victorian era, Russia was persistently viewed as a threat both to the Western/European order and, sporadically, to British interests in India. The crisis ended at the Congress of Berlin when a group of powers, including British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, forced the newly created Bulgarian state to restore much of the land awarded at the peace treaty of San Stefano, including the region of Macedonia, to Ottoman rule. Jingoism is today generally employed as a deprecatory term for the confident expressions of a Western, and particularly Anglo-American, culture that viewed its superiority as both self-evident and merited.
The chorus of a song by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and G. W. Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in pubs and music halls at the time gave birth to the term. The lyrics had the chorus:
We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do,
We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too,
We've fought the Bear before, and while we're Britons true,
The Russians shall not have Constantinople.
The term "jingoism" was coined by the prominent radical George Holyoake in a letter to the Daily News on 13 March, 1878. See "By Jingo" article for further details.


  • Theodore Roosevelt was frequently accused of jingoism. In an October 8, 1895 New York Times interview, he responded, "There is much talk about 'jingoism'. If by 'jingoism' they mean a policy in pursuance of which Americans will with resolution and common sense insist upon our rights being respected by foreign powers, then we are 'jingoes'."
  • In the 28 March 1938 issue of Punch appeared a E. H. Shepard cartoon entitled THE OLD-FASHIONED CUSTOMER. Set in a record shop, John Bull asks the record seller (Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain): "I wonder if you've got a song I remember about not wanting to fight, but if we do . . . something, something, something . . . we've got the money too?". On the wall is a portrait of former Prime Minister Lord Salisbury.
  • In the 1980s, the Capitol Steps political satire troupe sang "Jingo All the Way" (a parody of "Jingle Bells") about protectionism in the auto industry.
  • In 1985, Todd Rundgren recorded "Johnee Jingo" for his album "A Capella".
  • In The Simpsons episode Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington one of the criteria used to grade Lisa for her speech on America is jingoism. Lisa receives a 10/10 in that area, but loses to a speech made by an immigrant praising America.
  • In the Pennywise song "Fox TV", from the album The Fuse (2005) the line "... Fabricated Journalism, Junk News and Jingoism...".
jingoist in German: Jingoismus
jingoist in Estonian: Marurahvuslus
jingoist in Spanish: Jingoísmo
jingoist in French: Jingoïsme
jingoist in Hebrew: ג'ינגואיזם
jingoist in Dutch: Jingoïsme
jingoist in Polish: jingoizm
jingoist in Portuguese: Jingoísmo
jingoist in Swedish: Jingoism
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