Definition of johnny in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɒni/

noun (plural johnnies)

1British Used as a name for an unknown man, often suggesting that he is unimportant or insignificant: the security johnny insists that you sign the visitors' book
More example sentences
  • One fella on the bus seemed particularly pleased with himself and not unjustly the crowd called him a johnny.
  • It was just those terrible scientist johnnies!
  • Whereas the British want to see children's faces light up with joy, those foreign johnnies prefer to scare the living daylights out of them.
2 (also rubber johnny) A condom.
Example sentences
  • I remembered picking up a rubber johnny (presumably used) as it drifted past me and holding it up to the other volunteers, who all recoiled in horror.
  • I thought non-Brit readers might like to know that ‘rubber johnny’ is a playground/school yard slang for a condom.
  • You can tell it's posh because food is served on a bed of other food, and there isn't a machine in the gents selling rubber johnnies.
3US A gown fastened at the back, worn by hospital patients.
Example sentences
  • Nicholson has a gift for physical comedy, swaying dizzily in a hospital johnny that unflatteringly reveals his derrière.


Late 17th century (in sense 1): pet form of the given name John; sense 2 dates from the 1960s.

Words that rhyme with johnny

Bonnie, bonny, Connie, Lonnie, Ronnie, Suwannee

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: johnny

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.