Jack is as good as his master

Jack is variously used as a familiar name for a sailor, a member of the common people, a serving man, and one who does odd jobs.

1706 J. STEVENS Spanish & English Dict. s.v. Pedro, Peter is as good as his Master. Like Master, like Man.

1868 READE & BOUCICAULT Foul Play II. xx. Is it the general opinion of seamen before the mast? Come, tell us. Jack’s as good as his master in these matters.

1936 W. HOLTBY South Riding I. iv. She was far from thinking Jack as good as his master and explained failure in plebeian upstarts by saying with suave contempt: ‘Well, what can you expect? Wasn’t bred to power.’

1987 R. HILL Child’s Play viii. 1945 might have seen Britain ready at last for the political assertion that Jack was as good as his master, but it was still light years away from any meaningful acknowledgement that Black Jack was as good as White Jack.


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