King Lear, Act II, Scene II:

Kent: Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. Spare my grey beard, you wagtail!

Jakes (pronounced, and often spelled as 'jacks'), is a colloquial term for a privy, or latrine. Usually, the term is reserved for the less pleasant form of public convenience, but can be used to mean any lavatory or toilet. Apart from this use by Shakespeare above, the term is used widely today, certainly in Ireland as an item of Irish-speak, and possibly in parts of England.

Jakes (?), n. [Prob. fr. F. Jacques, the proper name. See 2d Jack.]

A privy.

Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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