10 English vocabulary words starting with J

junk (n.)

The word junk refers to undesirable things; things that should be thrown away, because they are not useful/functional anymore. It is considered uncountable (similar to the word “stuff”) so it is always singular.

  • When we moved to a new house, we got rid of all the junk we had in the basement.

You might also hear the expression “junk food,” meaning food that is not healthy (ex. chips, candy, fried food, etc.)

jeopardize (v.)

To jeopardize something means to put it in danger. Note that the “eo” is simply pronounced like the “e” in “set.”

  • This misunderstanding could jeopardize relations between the two countries.

juggle (v.)

The action of juggling involves throwing multiple things in the air and catching them again. It is done by clowns, magicians, and other entertainers/performers:

It’s also used in a metaphorical way, referring to handling a lot of responsibilities/activities at the same time:

  • It’s hard to juggle a family, a full-time job, and evening classes.

jiffy (n.)

This is an informal word meaning “a very short time.” You will typically hear the phrase “in a jiffy,” which means very fast or very soon.

  • My brother can fix any computer problem in a jiffy.

jet lag (n.)

When you travel to a different time zone, you tend to feel tired because your body is not yet used to the new time zone. This situation is known as “jet lag.” You can also use it as an adjective, describing yourself as being jet-lagged.

  • I woke up at 4 AM because of the jet lag.
  • When I went from Canada to New Zealand, I was jet-lagged for a whole week!

judge (n./v.)

A person who works as a judge (n.) is a professional in the legal system. Judges listen to evidence and make final decisions in legal cases.

The word judge (v.) used as a verb means to decide or form an opinion after careful consideration:

  • You shouldn’t judge people based on their appearance; you should get to know them instead.

joyful (adj.)

The adjective joyful means “full of joy” = extremely happy. You can also use the adverb joyfully.

  • The festival is a joyful celebration of African culture.
  • She joyfully listened to her son as he played the piano.

jittery (adj.)

If you are jittery, it means you are very nervous and tense. You also might hear the expression that someone “has the jitters,” which is another way to say they are nervous.

  • He was jittery when he went on a date with a beautiful girl.

jungle (n.)

The jungle is a thick forest in a tropical climate:

jealous (adj.)

If you are jealous of someone else, it means you feel upset or angry because the other person has something that you want. The noun form is jealousy. This feeling can be mild, or it can be very intense.

  • You’re going on vacation in Costa Rica? I’m so jealous!
    = I wish I were going on a nice vacation, too

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