Origin uncertain; possibly from Old French giber (“to engage in horseplay; to play roughly in sport”). Compare English jib (“usually of a horse: to stop and refuse to go forward”), Old Norse geipa (“to talk nonsense”).
The noun is derived from the verb.
jibe (plural jibes)
- A facetious or insulting remark; a jeer, a taunt.
- He flung subtle jibes at her until she couldn’t bear to work with him any longer.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: […] (Second Quarto), London: […] I[ames] R[oberts] for N[icholas] L[ing] […], published 1604, OCLC 760858814, [Act V, scene i]:
- Alas poore Yoricke, […] where be your gibes now? your gamboles? your ſongs? your flaſhes of merriment, that were wont to ſet the table on a roare, not one now to mocke your owne grinning, quite chopfalne.
- 1746, [Charles Macklin], King Henry the VII: Or the Popish Impostor. A Tragedy. […], London: Printed for R. Francklin, […]; R[obert] Dodsley, […]; and J. Brotherton, […], OCLC 731531014, Act II, scene i, page 24:
- Come, come, we / All are Friends, nor have we Time for Jibe, / Or Anger now, but 'gainſt our common Foes, / The French and Scot; there let your Pray'rs, and Jeſts, / And Blows, be levell’d.
- 1903 April 18, W[illiam] E[dward] Burghardt Du Bois, “Of Alexander Crummell”, in The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., OCLC 728542745, page 226:
- He bent to all the gibes and prejudices, to all hatred and discrimination, with that rare courtesy which is the armor of pure souls.
- 1920 April, F[rancis] Scott Fitzgerald, “Amory, Son of Beatrice”, in This Side of Paradise, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, OCLC 249911691, book I (The Romantic Egotist), page 26:
- He had written two novels: one of them violently anti-Catholic, just before his conversion, and five years later another, in which he had attempted to turn all his clever jibes against Catholics into even cleverer innuendoes against Episcopalians.
- 1975 October 27, Jeff Greenfield, “Ragged but Funny”, in New York, volume 8, number 43, New York, N.Y.: New York Magazine Company, ISSN 0028-7369, OCLC 1002002954, page 65, column 3:
- [George] Carlin's opening-night monologue included some blunt gibes at organized religion which would almost certainly have been cut out of any other network show.
- (transitive) To reproach with contemptuous words; to deride, to mock, to taunt.
- Synonym: flout
- c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 346, column 1:
- [Y]ou / Did pocket vp my Letters: and with taunts / Did gibe my Miſive out of audience.
- 1714, John Arbuthnot, A Farther Continuation of the History of the Crown-Inn: Part III. Containing the Present State of the Inn, and Other Particulars, 2nd edition, London: Printed for J. Moor, […], OCLC 1051632876, archived from the original on 10 March 2019, page 15:
- We could hardly speak before for fear of our Taskmasters; but we dare now Nose those Villains that used to gibe us.
- a. 1746, [Jonathan] Swift, “A Character, Panegyrick, and Description of the Legion Club”, in Miscellanies, volume X, 5th edition, London: Printed for T. Woodward, C. Davis, C. Bathurst, and W[illiam] Bowyer, published 1751, OCLC 669329865, pages 227–228:
- How I want thee, hum'rous Hogarth! / Thou, I hear, a pleaſant Rogue art; / […] / Draw the Beaſts as I deſcribe them, / From their Features, while I gibe them.
- (transitive) To say in a mocking or taunting manner.
- 1936 June 30, Margaret Mitchell, chapter VI, in Gone with the Wind, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company, OCLC 1049770437; republished New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company, 1944, OCLC 20350211, part I, page 121:
- Scarlett felt her heart begin its mad racing again and she clutched her hand against it unconsciously, as if she would squeeze it into submission. "Eavesdroppers often hear highly instructive things," jibed a memory.
- (intransitive) To make a mocking remark or remarks; to jeer.
- c. 1595–1596 (date written), W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. […] (First Quarto), London: […] W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, OCLC 61366361; republished as Shakspere’s Loves Labours Lost (Shakspere-Quarto Facsimiles; no. 5), London: W[illiam] Griggs, […], , OCLC 1154977408, [Act V, scene ii]:
- Why thats the way to choake a gibing ſpirrit, / Whoſe influence is begot of that looſe grace, / Which ſhallow laughing hearers giue to fooles, […]
- 1722 (indicated as 1721), [Daniel Defoe], The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. […], 3rd edition, London: […] W[illiam Rufus] Chetwood, […]; and T. Edlin, […]; W[illiam] Mears, […]; J. Brotherton, […]; C. King, and J. Stags, […], published 1722, OCLC 745118774, page 6:
- This ſet the old Gentlewoman a Laughing at me, as you may be ſure it would: Well, Madam, Forſooth, ſays ſhe, Gibing at me, you would be a Gentlewoman, and how will you come to be a Gentlewoman? What will you do it by your Fingers Ends?
- 1730, Jonathan Swift, “To Betty the Grizete”, in The Poetical Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. […], Edinburgh: Printed by Mundell and Son, […], published 1794, OCLC 1017284191; republished in Robert Anderson, editor, The Works of the British Poets. […], volume IX, London: Printed for John & Arthur Arch; and for Bell & Bradfute, and J. Mundell & Co. Edinburgh, 1795, OCLC 221535929, page 128, column 2:
- Thus with talents well endu'd / To be ſcurrilous and rude; / When you pertly raiſe your ſnout, / Fleer and gibe, and laugh and flout; […]
- 1928, Radclyffe Hall, chapter 27, in The Well of Loneliness, London: Jonathan Cape, OCLC 5359892; republished Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 2005, →ISBN, book 2, section I, page 182:
- But now her mother was speaking again: 'And this – read this and tell me if you wrote it, or if that man's lying.' And Stephen must read her own misery jibing at her from those pages in Ralph Crossby's stiff and clerical handwriting.
- (intransitive, Canada, US, informal) To accord or agree.
- That explanation doesn’t jibe with the facts.
- 1926 May 13, Henry H. Glassie, witness, “Statement of Henry H. Glassie, Member of United States Tariff Commission”, in Investigation of the Tariff Commission: Hearings before the Select Committee on Investigation of the Tariff Commission, United States Senate, Sixty-ninth Congress, First Session […] Part 1 […], Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, OCLC 6263224, page 529:
- [T]here is something wrong with your figures. They do not jibe with experience. They do not jibe with prices. They do not jibe with what we know.
Jibe and jive have been used interchangeably in the US to indicate the concept “to accord or agree”. While one recent dictionary accepts this usage of jive, most sources consider it to be in error.
jibe (plural jibes)
- ^ “gibe, jibe, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1899; “jibe”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “gibe, jibe, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1899.
- ^ “jibe, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1901.