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What the Hell Is a “Jackroller”?

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At Hangover Hospital, we help people vacationing in Key West who were intoxicated the night before get rid of their hangover symptoms. We use an IV infusion of health-promoting substances to restore you to full function, getting rid of your migraine, stomach ache, and all other symptoms associated with overindulging. We get it! You came to Key West to party and have a good vacation, so we even come to you no matter where you are on our island. We can’t fix what may have happened that night, though, especially if you got “jackrolled”. The term “jackroller” may or may not be a term you are familiar with. It refers to an interesting activity that takes place only when you were intoxicated, and if it has happened to you, chances are you never knew.

  • Keep reading to find out more about this slang word, where it came from, and what to do if you ever get jackrollered.

Were You a Victim of a Jackroller Exploit?

What the Hell Is a “Jackroller”? | Hangover Hospital Key WestA “jackroller” is a term that refers to a person who robs people when they are intoxicated. Though this could be as simple as a pickpocket when the drunk person is caught off guard, it can also refer to when a drunk person is so intoxicated they are passed out and are stripped of their money, credit cards, and other valuables. We would hope our Key West vacation-lovers wouldn’t resort to these types of exploits, but we have all been there at least a time or two when a taxi cab driver recognizes we are drunk and jackrolls us with his rates!

When “Jackroller” Became Popular

The term “jackroller” was first seen in the early 1900s. It made its way into some publications as a common thief, but it steadily grew to mean anyone who robbed a person while they were drunk. Apparently, it was a common practice in the early 1900s to see a drunkard on the street and take everything he/she had.

How Did We Get the Word “Jackroller”?

What the Hell Is a “Jackroller”? | Hangover Hospital Key WestThere are two theories about where the term came from. The first is that it originated from the professional New York City boxer, Jack Roller. How his name became associated with robbing drunk people, however, is unclear, and most lexicographers agree that he had little to do with the meaning of the term. His name was just a convenient coincidence during the word jackroller’s inception. The second theory, and the one that is more likely correct, is that “Jack” refers to any common person, and “roll” can mean to steal.

  • A “jackroller”, therefore, is a common person who steals. As we said, it was later only applied to a common person who steals from drunk people, though we aren’t entirely sure why.

How to Know if You Were Jackrolled and What to Do

What the Hell Is a “Jackroller”? | Hangover Hospital Key WestThere are several people who could jackroll you when you were drunk last night. The bartender, your best “friend”, a random black hooded figure disguised in a dark cloak, that damn cabbie driver: anyone could have stolen from you. Check your wallet. Search for your phone. Check your bank accounts. Make sure everything is there. And even if it isn’t, be sure to call us because you will need our services if you were so drunk you can’t even remember if you were robbed or not!