The word jaywalk is a compound word derived from the word jay, an inexperienced person, and walk. No historical evidence supports an alternative folk etymology by which the word is traced to the letter "J" (characterizing the route a jaywalker might follow).
In towns in the American Midwest in the early 20th century, "jay" was a synonym for "rube," a pejorative term for a rural resident, assumed by many urbanites to be stupid, slightly unintelligent, or perhaps simply na?ve. Such a person did not know to keep out of the way of other pedestrians and speeding automobiles. It may also have been coined from the existing American word Jayhawker, being a term for American guerillas in Missouri in the 19th century