My husband and I were texting back and forth about the baby, who was napping in her car seat while I sat in the garage waiting for her to wake up. We were discussing her sleep habits, which have been nightmarish lately. Naturally, we used lots of emojis. And when I use lots of emojis, which I imagine were invented to save time in conversation, I am inevitably asked to explain myself. The more I’m asked to explain myself, the more emojis I use, and the more nonsensical they become. Because winking face, poop, unicorn, hamburger, Dutch flag.
You get it.
Anyhow, one of the emojis I had to explain looks a like this:
I used it to indicate that I hoped we’d “hit the jackpot” tonight and she’d actually sleep. Not the diction I’d choose on my own, but scrolling through the emoji options can really inspire my writing. That would be a good exercise, actually: Quick as you can, pick six emojis. Now turn those emojis into a story. Go.
Anyway: the word, “jackpot.” What a weird word, right? Clearly it’s in reference to the “pot” of money the gambler hopes to win. But who’s Jack? I had to know.
Apparently, the jack in question is a playing card. The term was originally used in a form of poker, where the “pot” could not be won until a player could open the bidding with two jacks or better. I learned this by entering two words into Google: jackpot + origin. (I tried to paraphrase the definition but, well, it was pretty straightforward.) It’s amazing how quickly one can get information these days.