A jock is a male usually with a body that is athletic, muscular and tall. The term is popular in movies and jocks are usually painted as jerks by Hollywood and society. The female equivalent is a jill but as far as I can tell this just means a fit female.
The origin seems to go back to 1963 and comes from the item of undergarment called Jockstrap which is known to be protective while playing sports.
A typical movie plot involving a jock would be a woman trying to choosing between a jock and a nerd with the nerd usually getting the woman. The jock in this case is usually attractive with a six pack.
Some movie plots also revolve around a jock that is a jerk seeing the light and this becoming a better person.
There are a few differences between a jock and an athlete but it depends on who you ask. Some would say that jocks are people more popular but less sensitive however this is just what pop culture paints them as. Some would say a jock and an athlete are the same.
I think that jocks are popular because society enjoys watching sports. Many people particularly enjoy it when their area is represented and wins.
In pop culture jocks sometimes bully the other characters and some are rich. They are typically portrayed as not wanting to engage it behavior that they see as weak such as showing fear, crying. In Hollywood movies they do not like showing affection for other guys in certain ways.
Many people just assume jocks can't be intelligent and I think that this is based on a stereotype and people shouldn't be so quick to judge. While it is true that sport takes time away from academic activities some computer nerds play video games for hours.
It is true however that some people turn to sports because they have difficulties in other areas; this includes disabilities such as dyslexia. People also tend to focus more on what they are good at while focusing less in areas where they could improve and I think that this could play a role.
As stated above it is short for Jockstrap which is a protective undergarment that some guys wear while playing sports.
Some people refer to underwear in general as jocks.
In the UK a jock can be another name for a Scotsman.
An enthusiast, for example a computer jock.
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