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[jook-boks] /ˈdʒukˌbɒks/

a coin-operated phonograph, typically in a gaudy, illuminated cabinet, having a variety of records that can be selected by push button.
a coin-operated machine, usually found in pubs, clubs, etc, that contains records, CDs, or videos, which are played when selected by a customer

1937, jook organ, from jook joint “roadhouse” (1935), Black English slang, from juke, joog “wicked, disorderly,” in Gullah (the creolized English of the coastlands of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida), probably from Wolof and Bambara dzug “unsavory.” Said to have originated in central Florida (see “A Note on Juke,” Florida Review, vol. VII, no. 3, spring 1938). The spelling with a -u- might represent a deliberate attempt to put distance between the word and its origins.

For a long time the commercial juke trade resisted the name juke box and even tried to raise a big publicity fund to wage a national campaign against it, but “juke box” turned out to be the biggest advertising term that could ever have been invented for the commercial phonograph and spread to the ends of the world during the war as American soldiers went abroad but remembered the juke boxes back home. [“Billboard,” Sept. 15, 1945]


A coin-operated record player in a restaurant, bar, etc (1930s+)

hardware, storage
A hardware mechanism for allowing access to one of a group of discs, especially CD-ROMs or other optical media.
[Or magnetic tapes?]


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  • Juke-house

    noun, Southern U.S. 1. a cheap roadhouse. 2. a brothel. noun phrase A brothel [1940s+; the date should probably be earlier]

  • Juke-joint

    noun 1. an establishment where one can eat, drink, and, usually, dance to music provided by a jukebox. noun phrase A usually cheap bar, roadside tavern, etc, with a jukebox (1935+)

  • Jukes

    [jooks] /dʒuks/ noun 1. the fictitious name of an actual family that was the focus of a 19th-century sociological study of the inheritance of feeble-mindedness and its correlation with social degeneracy. [jook] /dʒuk/ Football. verb (used with object), juked, juking. 1. to make a move intended to deceive (an opponent). noun 2. a fake or […]

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