Definition of John Bull noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


John Bull

BrE BrE//ˌdʒɒn ˈbʊl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌdʒɑːn ˈbʊl//
[uncountable, countable] (old-fashioned)
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a word that is used to refer to England or the English people, or to a typical Englishman More Like This Expressions with people’s names Aunt Sally, Hobson’s choice, Hooray Henry, Houdini, Jack the Lad, Jack Robinson, Jane Doe, Joe Bloggs, Joe Public, Joe Sixpack, John Bull, John Doe, John Hancock, Johnny Reb, PC Plod, Uncle SamSee worksheet. Word Originlate 18th cent.: from the name of a character representing the English nation in John Arbuthnot's satire Law is a Bottomless Pit; or, the History of John Bull (1712). Culture John Bull is usually shown in pictures as a fat man with a red face, wearing a top hat, a waistcoat and high boots. He also often has a bulldog, suggesting that he is like the dog in having a brave, fierce and independent character. see also bulldog breed