Etymology: < Italian (originally and chiefly regional: southern) iettatura, †jettatura the evil eye, bad luck (1787) < iettare (see jettatore n.) + -atura -ature suffix. Compare French jettatura (1817; also jettature; < Italian). Compare jettatore n.
The evil eye (see evil adj. 6); bad luck.
1822 London Mag. Sept. 228/1 Little pieces of twisted coral, which are worn about the neck as charms against the jettatura.
1855 E. C. Gaskell Accursed Race in Househ. Words 25 Aug. 78/2 Their glance, if you meet it, is the jettatura, or evil eye.
1882 C. M. Yonge Unknown to Hist. II. iii. 34 'Tis not only the jettatura wherewith the Queen Mother used to reproach me. Men need but bear me good will, and misery overtakes them.
1892 A. Lang Bks. & Bookmen (new ed.) 122 The superstitious might have been excused for crediting him with the gift of jettatura,—of the evil eye.
1928 N. Richardson Mother of Kings iii. 181 ‘Poor fellow—it cost him his head, this and his friendship for Dubarry.’ ‘Let us hope it will not cast such a jettatura upon you, Joseph’
1997 A. M. Kraut in L. Marks & M. Worboys Migrants, Minorities, & Health x. 235 Southern Italians often attributed illness to the influence of one who had the jettatura.