of J.W.ese

the unique language
of Jehovah's Witnesses

also available as a
paperback book:

Dictionary of J.W.ese - the Unique Language of Jehovah's Witnesses, by David A. Reed, book cover
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 words starting with . . .
    A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I

    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R

    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z


Language's Role in Control

Orwell’s 1984 and J.W.ese

Language with an Agenda

J.W.ese Changes on Command

Breaking the Language Barrier

The Author’s Testimony


Key to Abbreviated Refs.






This book is constructed almost entirely from my own vocabulary—the words I  was accustomed to speaking and the expressions I regularly listened to during thirteen years as an active Jehovah’s Witness.   Added to these are a few additional terms I have encountered in researching the sect since my departure in 1982:  new expressions to accompany “new truths” introduced since then, and some obsolete expressions that had fallen out of use before my 1969 baptism into the Witnesses.  The words themselves originate, for the most part, with the Watchtower organization that coined or redefined them.  Other terms have sprung up spontaneously from the worldwide body of rank-and-file Witnesses in the form of slang expressions,  nicknames or abbreviations for more complex organizational verbiage.

About a year after I self-published the initial forty-four page booklet version of this Dictionary, and at the time when I was near completion of the present book-length manuscript, I was surprised to discover on the World Wide Web an Internet website dealing with Jehovah’s Witness vocabulary.   The document titled Glossary of American English Hacker Theocratese bears the 1995 copyright of a Mr. Lynn D. Newton, a Jehovah’s Witness elder from Arizona who  enthusiastically supports the organization and apparently fails to see the sinister aspect of its unique vocabulary.  He states under “Purpose and History of the Glossary” that his “initial intent” was to provide “a reference list for some Witnesses whose native tongue is not English.”  Now, though, he explains that his Glossary “has become a labor of love, and a gift to all persons who want to have it.”  Hence he includes in it this blanket permission:  “The ‘Glossary’ may be redistributed or quoted in whole or in part without asking the permission of the author.”  Finding it so late in my own work, however, I was able to use the Glossary more to verify the completeness of my manuscript than to assist in creating it. 

So, my greatest indebtedness for this collection of words and definitions is to those Jehovah’s Witnesses who introduced me to “the truth,” trained me in “field service,” and taught me at “the meetings”—many of whom have since grown old and died, and the remainder of whom disown any connection with me today.  And, though, toward the end of my time in the sect, I began to develop an awareness of how language was being used to manipulate me, it was exit counselor Steven Hassan who helped me put this into broader perspective by writing in his book Combatting Cult Mind Control, “A destructive cult typically has its own ‘loaded language’ of words and expressions.”