Archer Vocabulary: jingoist


I won’t go off on a Ferris Bueller-esque rant about -isms in society today. I also won’t rant about people unnecessarily adding -esque to proper nouns. Having removed myself almost entirely from the realm of mainstream political news, I tend to encounter words like this less often than before.


Season 3 – Episode 6 “The Limited”
The ISIS gang is transporting Nova Scotian separatist, Kenny Bilko, back to Canada to curry favor with the RCMP. The unusual setting of a train and the general incompetence of the ISIS staff drives much of the plot. The action culminates on the roof of the train where Archer and Bilko discuss how fighting on the roof of a train is a ridiculous plot device.

ARCHER: Wow! And I thought I was mad before.
BILKO: Why? Did you see some old black lady sitting in the front of a bus?
ARCHER: What is your deal with calling me a racist?
BILKO: Well A) you’re American.
ARCHER: That’s racist… jingoist… whatever.
BILKO: And B) you murdered the porter.
ARCHER: Wha? No, I didn’t.
BILKO: You shot him! There was blood everywhere.
ARCHER: That was from a steak, you idiot. I was trying to catch an ocelot!


Merriam-Webster defines “jingoism” as “the feelings and beliefs of people who think that their country is always right and who are in favor of aggressive acts against other countries” and a “jingoist” is simply someone who espouses those feelings and beliefs. It’s the perfect word to describe the rah-rah type of nationalism that people display with clothing, vehicle adornments, and delightful protest signs.

It reportedly comes from the phrase “by jingo,” a minced oath for Jesus, which was prominently featured in a 1878 song espousing Britain’s ill feelings toward Russia at the time.

This word also makes an appearance in the third season of The Simpsons in the episode “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington” in which Lisa enters a patriotic essay contest and wins a trip to the nation’s capital. The scorers of the regional competitions grade essays based on originality, clarity, organization, and jingoism.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *