An archaic term for the will-o'-the-wisp, q.v. The earliest form is Jack with the lantern, from which the other forms derive, such as Jack with a lantern, Jack in the lantern, Jack the lantern, Jacky-lantern, Jack-me-lantern, Jack of the wad, Jack o' t' wad, Jacketawad, etc.



  • Scott, C.P.G. (1895). "The Devil and His Imps: An Etymological Inquisition." In Transactions of the American Philological Association. Vol. 26. Boston: Ginn & Co., pp. 111-116.