Martin Amis has accused Jeremy Corbyn of lacking a sense of humour. The jury is out on that one. Either way, a good joke is more than just a political skill, it is also humanity’s last line of defence.


Will you help me with understanding the bold passage from the above sentence? I am not able to find out the meaningful interpretation.

  • Hi Bart-leby! Please write clear titles. If you ever wondered how, take a look at this not-so-short tutorial whenever you got the time. – M.A.R. Nov 3 '15 at 20:04

It's an idiom meaning, "There is no consensus on that claim".

  • 1
    Thank you for your response. I have just found on the internet that this is an idiomatic expression. So sorry to bother you. I should have been more thorough in my research work. – bart-leby Nov 3 '15 at 19:18

Although "There's no consensus on that claim" is somewhat true, the meaning is closer to

A decision has not yet been made

"There's no consensus" suggests that there may or may not be a consensus in future. The phrase "The Jury is out" however, suggests that a decision will be made, but hasn't yet.

It comes from trial-by-Jury courts, where the jury would leave the court ("go out") in order to make their decision, and come back "in" to announce the decision once it is made. If the Jury is "still out", they haven't yet made their decision.

It's a subtle difference, and in many contexts it won't matter, but there are times when this nuance could become important to the meaning of the sentence.

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