[Ads-l] gig = 'jig'

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 8 21:35:33 EDT 2018


Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> "The gig is up!" clearly meaning "The jig is up!" is used by Dr. Clayton
> Forrester in the 1993 Mystery Science Theater presentation of _Radar Secret
> Service_.

Here is an instance in 1919 of "knew the gig was up" with a sense that
matches "knew the jig was up". I do not know how the author intended
the word "gig" to be pronounced.

I found an earlier instance of "gig was up" but the meaning was ambiguous.

Date: January 9, 1919
Newspaper: The Holton Recorder
Newspaper Location: Holton, Kansas
Article: Notes From a Red Cross Worker in France
Quote Page 2, Column 4
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
"How did the Boches feel when they found the Americans line up against
them?" I asked.

"Well, when the Boche saw that the Americans were coming over in
force," they replied, "it simply took the heart out of him. The
Germans knew the gig was up. And when they saw the American doughboys
coming over the top, they were simply struck with terror.
[End excerpt]

Ben Zimmer remarked in his August 7, 2015 Wall Street Journal article:

[Begin excerpt]
Musicians latched onto "gig" as both a noun and a verb as early as
1921 to describe the "one-nighters" or other short-term playing
engagements with which they scraped out a livelihood.
[End excerpt]

So the music-engagement sense of "gig" had not yet emerged in 1919.

Here is a link to the beginning of an ADS mailing list thread about
the music oriented sense of "gig" with subject "gig, gigging, gigger
(1921)":

http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-August/138430.html

Garson



> On Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 3:29 PM Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 6:33 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > The Clinton campaign announces that with the revelation of T---p's 1995
> > tax
> > > return, "The gig is up."
> > >
> >
> > In a moderately-similar vein, while browsing around the Web, earlier today,
> > I came across a page with a title like, "[Some Random Number of] Words That
> > You Didn't Know You Were Mispronouncing."
> >
> > Among them was the semi-word, _gif_ < "graphics interchange format."
> > Apparently, its developer, Steve Wilhite, in a fit of pique, has decreed
> > that _gif_ be pronounced "jif,"
> >
> > Wikipedia:
> >
> > The creators of the format pronounced GIF as "jif" with a soft "G
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G>" /ˈdʒɪf/
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English> as in "gin". Steve
> > Wilhite <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Wilhite> says that the
> > intended pronunciation deliberately echoes the American peanut butter
> > brand,
> >  Jif <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jif_(peanut_butter)>, and CompuServe
> > employees would often say "Choosy developers choose GIF," [punning on] this
> > brand's television commercials.[8]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-olsen-8>
> >
> > An alternative pronunciation with a hard "G" (/ˈɡɪf/
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English> as in "graphics," for
> > which it stands) is in widespread usage.[9]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-BBC20130522-9> The *American
> > Heritage Dictionary
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Heritage_Dictionary>*[10]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-10> cites both, acknowledging
> > "jif" as the primary pronunciation, while *Cambridge Dictionary of American
> > English*[11] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-cambridgedict-11
> > >
> > offers
> > only the hard-"G" pronunciation. *Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merriam-Webster%27s_Collegiate_Dictionary>*
> > [12] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-12> and the *OED*[13]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-oxforddict-13> cite both
> > pronunciations, but place "gif" in the default position ("\ˈgif, ˈjif\").
> > The *New Oxford American Dictionary
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Oxford_American_Dictionary>* gave only
> > "jif" in its 2nd edition[14]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-14> but updated it to "jif,
> > gif" in its 3rd edition.[15]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-15>
> >
> > The disagreement over the pronunciation led to heated Internet debate. On
> > the occasion of receiving a lifetime achievement award at the 2013 Webby
> > Award <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webby_Award> ceremony, Wilhite
> > rejected the alternative pronunciation,[9]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-BBC20130522-9>[16]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-16>[17]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-LAT20131204-17> and his
> > speech
> > led to 17,000 posts on Twitter <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter> and
> > 50 news articles.[18] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-18>
> > The White
> > House <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House>[9]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-BBC20130522-9> and the TV
> > program *Jeopardy! <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeopardy!>*[17]
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF#cite_note-LAT20131204-17> also waded
> > into the debate during 2013.
> > --
> > -Wilson
> > -----
> > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > -Mark Twain
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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