I am watching Fraggle Rock Ep303. In this episode, Red says she's organizing an exhibit on athletic excellence for the annual Jock and Jockesses Picnic. I am wondering the meaning of "jocks and jockesses". Is it a humorous expression for sports athletes?

1 Answer 1


The word ‘jock’ has several different possible meanings, but used here, it’s a term for a male athlete. It’s often used in a derogatory manner, implying a lack of intelligence — the typical high-school-drama tv show plotline involves some kind of altercation between the ‘nerds’ and the ‘jocks’ — but not always.

The ‘-ess’ suffix is generally used to show that it’s a female form of the word, as in ‘countess’ and ‘count’. So a ‘jockess’ would be a female athlete, and ‘jockesses’ would be the plural form.

Jockess isn’t a ‘real’ word — and sounds quite silly to native speakers, because we associate the word ‘jock’ with a certain kind of maleness — which could be the source of the humour.

  • 10
    Would it be fair to say the usage of "jockess" is jock-ular? Ahem. I'll get my coat. Jun 7, 2020 at 8:07
  • @PrimeMover that actually took me a while to get :D Jun 7, 2020 at 9:54
  • This sounds reasonable, but are you sure that "jocks" isn't the name of one of the creatures on the show? I'm not an expert on it, but it seems plausible.
    – nick012000
    Jun 7, 2020 at 12:43
  • 1
    @nick012000 it's not.
    – eps
    Jun 7, 2020 at 19:30
  • Due to the derogatory implication of the word, I wonder if one of the writers was playing off the word jackass, but it's probably just a coincidence that the words sound similar.
    – eps
    Jun 7, 2020 at 19:34

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