Well, Since You "Axed" ...

Joseph Carson samizdata at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Apr 21 20:05:11 UTC 2000

Beverly, this is an easy one. In mediaeval France, during the days of the jongleurs
and trouveres, a type of folk-musical format used for dances was developed, called
the "gigue" ("gavottes," "valses, "pavanes" and "roundelays" are related forms that
stemmed from this period,) that through long usage in increasingly sophisticated
ensembles on better instruments became somewhat "higbrow" in character, and remain
so today, but the "gigues" came in popular parlance to mean any event featuring
musicians playing music for dancers, and has carried down to the present as a
"gig."  Gaelic "jigs" are etymologically related to their Gaullic counterparts. As
far as I see, there's no relationship between "gigs" and "giggles," as most bar
band "gigistes" will readily attest; rather the contrary.  Happy Easter or Passover
or first Icelandic day of summer to all! - With regrads, Joseph Carson

Beverly Flanigan wrote: "Funny that you should mention 'gig': a colleague of mine
asked me just yesterday where that word came from.  We checked the OED but found
nothing seemingly related (unless 'gig'=fun or silliness, hence, presumably,
'giggle'? Interesting that it originally referred to girls' silliness...).

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