I Don’t Know Jack

I’ve long theorized that most movies name the main character …Jack!  A few examples:  Captain Jack Sparrow from “POTC”, Jack Dawson from “Titanic, Jack Ryan from “The Hunt for Red October”, etc., Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, Jack Frost, even Jack-Jack from “The Incredibles”.

I don’t watch much TV these days, but here are just some of the Jacks listed on Wiki: Lost, 24, Alias, 30 Rock, Will and Grace, Friends, Just Shoot Me, Stargate SG-1, Three’s Company, Law & Order, and Scrubs.

There are also plenty of Jacks in literature, and comics, even video games.  And don’t forget nursery rhymes! Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, Jack Be Nimble, Jack Sprat, and Little Jack Horner.

Having wondered about this for a long time, I finally Googled it, and I did actually find a helpful snippet from eonline.  Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s not the only name out there, but it is the most hackneyed. Here’s why:  It’s safe.  Americans are almost hard-wired to respond to “Jack” as a hero because of its connection to protagonists since the days of fairy tales. Fairy tale heroes are always named Jack, too…  The word Jack is also, literally, generic.  At some point in its English origins, “Jack” became a shortcut for the word “guy” or “dude.” So—again, literally—Jack is a shortcut reference for an everyguy. Which, in turn, makes it an ideal name for a typical movie protagonist.”

I always thought it weird that so many were named Jack, especially since in my 50-plus years I’ve only met one (that I can remember): my husband’s father’s name was Jack.  He passed away on Halloween, 18 years ago.  And yes, that was his given name—it was not short for James.  I’ve known loads of James’s, and each of them has a different variation: James, Jim, Jimmy, Jaime, JimBob, J.R., but never Jack.

So.  There you have it; one of my theories was actually proved right!  Ha!   And the next time you’re at the movies, see if you aren’t sitting there enjoying the scenery, when suddenly the beautiful blonde screams, “Jack!  Look OUT!”

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This entry was posted in AAA Laura's Favorites :), Oddities and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to I Don’t Know Jack

  1. Tamz says:

    I know a few…. Dennis’ nephew named their son Jack (and it’s not short for James). He’s 2 1/2. My dear friend, Betsy’s, dad was Jack and so is her brother.

    Hilarious post, though. Dennis LOL.

  2. Lily says:

    “JimBob”????? HAHAHA I’ve never heard that…

  3. Actually, I always thought Jack was a nickname for John, not James. As in John F. Kennedy, often called Jack. But then again, what do I know? I don’t know Jack…..no wait, I actually do know quite a few Jacks. LOL

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