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  • Definition of "Ripper"

    (Have posted this in the "other place" also. Will see which, if either, attracts any comment/derision):

    In his book, "Jack the Ripper - The Simple Truth" (which my lovely lady wife has kindly bought me as Covid-19 reading material) Bruce Paley makes the case for Joseph Barnett and postulates that the "Dear Boss" and "Saucy Jack" were sent by the killer. These, of course, were the first recorded use of the soubriquet "Jack the Ripper". The word "jack" means (among other things) to raise or lift. The word "rip" means (again among other things) a wicker basket. The word "ripper" means (similarly) a person who carries fish inland for sale. Doesn't someone who carries fish sound a bit like a fish porter? It does to me - and a sick joke of that kind would be of a piece with the sneering tone of the missives themselves.
    Best Wishes, Colin.

    To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Colin Macdonald View Post
    (Have posted this in the "other place" also. Will see which, if either, attracts any comment/derision):

    In his book, "Jack the Ripper - The Simple Truth" (which my lovely lady wife has kindly bought me as Covid-19 reading material) Bruce Paley makes the case for Joseph Barnett and postulates that the "Dear Boss" and "Saucy Jack" were sent by the killer. These, of course, were the first recorded use of the soubriquet "Jack the Ripper". The word "jack" means (among other things) to raise or lift. The word "rip" means (again among other things) a wicker basket. The word "ripper" means (similarly) a person who carries fish inland for sale. Doesn't someone who carries fish sound a bit like a fish porter? It does to me - and a sick joke of that kind would be of a piece with the sneering tone of the missives themselves.

    The term Jack also refers to another series of monikers "Jack Tar" "Springheeled Jack" "Jack o Lantern" which I would suggest the ripper is more in line with than hidden meanings, that I suspect no one would be able to decipher back in 1888.


    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
      The term Jack also refers to another series of monikers "Jack Tar" "Springheeled Jack" "Jack o Lantern" which I would suggest the ripper is more in line with than hidden meanings, that I suspect no one would be able to decipher back in 1888.


      www.trevormarriott.co.uk
      They weren't supposed to decipher it, Trevor. That's the point. Jack is also a generic term for a labourer; a ripper is someone who carries fish. Someone decided to coin the term "Jack the Ripper" which was not previously in existence. Life is full of coincidences and this is probably just another one - but Joseph Barnett was, during the Autumn of Terror, a labourer who had previously worked as a fish porter.
      Last edited by Colin Macdonald; May 3, 2020, 09:18 AM. Reason: addition & correction of punctuation
      Best Wishes, Colin.

      To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.

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      • #4
        Colin:

        In a similar vein, people who believe James Kelly may have been the Ripper point to the tool which he used in his profession as an upholsterer....its called a ripper.

        Thanks for starting the thread.
        To Join JTR Forums, Contact :
        Howard@jtrforums.com

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        • #5
          How would Barnett have known that the basket used by Scottish fisherwomen to sell fish locally was called a rip?

          http://wovencommunities.org/collection/192/

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          • #6
            I would also question that ‘Jack’ was synonymous with a labourer specifically. ‘Jack’ was Everyman, especially if there was something a little edgy about him.

            https://jtrforums.com/showthread.php...ighlight=Ketch

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Colin Macdonald View Post
              They weren't supposed to decipher it, Trevor. That's the point. Jack is also a generic term for a labourer; a ripper is someone who carries fish. Someone decided to coin the term "Jack the Ripper" which was not previously in existence. Life is full of coincidences and this is probably just another one - but Joseph Barnett was, during the Autumn of Terror, a labourer who had previously worked as a fish porter.

              But all the other monikers were in existence why should someone not invent one which reflected the nature of the crimes? A killer who ripped open his victims.


              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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              • #8
                I remember having this discussion before, of course it depends on where you come from as to what the most direct meanings of "Jack" and "Ripper" are. I don't think we need to over-complicate things or read too much into it, I suspect that it was simply a very direct reference to how he was attacking his victims - bearing in mind that the name almost certainly came from a journalist. "Ripper" is also a bit of a slang term for somebody who is causing a bit of a sensation - for example, "that was a ripper of a movie" or "it's been a ripper of a day" - so there is also a possibility that it might be a reference to the fame (or infamy) he had at the time the name was thought up. Personally I doubt very much that it had anything to do with his profession, however.

                Cheers,
                Adam.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the feedback. On balance I agree with the majority view but thought it was a kite worth flying nonetheless.
                  Best Wishes, Colin.

                  To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.

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