Jiggy redux

Mon Oct 7 15:05:47 UTC 2002

        Here's some early uses of "jiggy."  Note that the first cite below, if historically accurate, would indicate usage by foreigners during World War II, and that the same phrase ("jiggy jig") seems to have made its way to Bali.  "Jig," a lively dance, seems one possible derivation.

        >>"Another Time, Another Place," a film about
Italian prisoners-of-war sent to work in Scotland during
World War II. . . .

        When Luigi and Janie first meet, there is little time
wasted on idle banter. The soldier from the south gets right
down to business. "You like me?" Luigi asks. Janie replies,
"Aye." With the ice being effectively broken, Luigi pops the
big question, "Is possible, yes, we make jiggy jig?" Although
Janie is suitably outraged by the request, it doesn't take
long for her to succumb to the sensual thrills Luigi has to
offer.<<  Washington Post, Oct. 10, 1984.

        >>It was a palm-sized trinket, a jiggy-jiggy whose movable parts
depicted a couple coupling.<<  Chicago Sun-Times, Mar. 3, 1986.

        >>The American Repertory Theater first presented "The Day Room"
last spring in the New Stages series, under Michael Bloom's
direction. Restaged by David Wheeler and performed with a creepy
exactitude, it's now part of the repertory at the Loeb. . . . John Bottoms is funny and
unsettling as a crazy patient, and there are hypnotic moments of
jiggy paranoia from Harriet Harris, Nestor Serrano, Isabell Monk
and Harry S. Murphy.<<  Boston Globe, Feb. 21, 1987.

        >>Kuta can be sleazy but good for people-watching. Tourists on an after-dinner
stroll will quite likely be accosted with "Jiggy jig?", which we took to be
local lingo for either "Would you like to dance?" or more likely, "Would you
like cheap sex?" More forward locals simply come straight out and say: "Cheap
girls?"<<  Business Times (Singapore), Nov. 11, 1995.

John Baker

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