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Origin of the word 'gig'

Dulci 30 Nov 08 - 07:29 PM
Ebbie 30 Nov 08 - 07:43 PM
Bob Bolton 30 Nov 08 - 07:52 PM
Azizi 30 Nov 08 - 08:34 PM
bobad 30 Nov 08 - 08:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Nov 08 - 08:59 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 30 Nov 08 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,woodsie 01 Dec 08 - 12:50 AM
meself 01 Dec 08 - 01:13 AM
meself 01 Dec 08 - 01:24 AM
Azizi 01 Dec 08 - 02:50 AM
Azizi 01 Dec 08 - 03:11 AM
Azizi 01 Dec 08 - 03:15 AM
Azizi 01 Dec 08 - 03:47 AM
ard mhacha 01 Dec 08 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,baz parkes 01 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM
JedMarum 01 Dec 08 - 09:02 AM
GUEST 01 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM
meself 01 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 01 Dec 08 - 11:16 AM
JedMarum 01 Dec 08 - 01:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Dec 08 - 08:02 PM
Monique 02 Dec 08 - 07:17 AM
Azizi 02 Dec 08 - 07:56 AM
Monique 02 Dec 08 - 08:42 AM
Azizi 02 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM
Monique 02 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 02 Dec 08 - 10:05 AM
Monique 02 Dec 08 - 11:20 AM
meself 02 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM
greg stephens 02 Dec 08 - 02:30 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 02 Dec 08 - 02:48 PM
greg stephens 02 Dec 08 - 02:50 PM
PoppaGator 02 Dec 08 - 04:56 PM
Snuffy 02 Dec 08 - 07:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Dec 08 - 07:41 PM
Dulci 03 Dec 08 - 12:10 PM
Mix O'Lydian 03 Dec 08 - 12:20 PM
meself 03 Dec 08 - 12:59 PM
GUEST 03 Dec 08 - 01:12 PM
Dave (Bridge) 04 Dec 08 - 02:54 AM
MartinRyan 04 Dec 08 - 05:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Dec 08 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,thecatlady 02 Jan 09 - 01:16 PM
michaelr 02 Jan 09 - 02:05 PM
GUEST 06 Jun 12 - 08:18 PM
BanjoRay 06 Jun 12 - 08:36 PM
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Subject: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Dulci
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:29 PM

Does anyone know where the word "gig" came from. I know you can buy special padded bags to put them in. Some people call them bookings.
Discuss and advise. The hubby gets plenty of "gigs" paid ones with his ceilidh band. As a duo we are looking for more of these "gigs".
Any suggestions.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:43 PM

"I know you can buy special padded bags to put them in"

? What am I missing? I have a (special padded) gig bag in which I put my guitar for treks around town.

I have no idea, however, Frankly, it sounds like an acronym. G. I. G.?


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:52 PM

G'day Dulci & Ebbie,

My (Australian Concise) Oxford Dictionary doesn't help on derivations:

gig an engagement of an entertainer , esp. of musicians ... [20th c.: origin unknown].

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:34 PM

Here's the entry for "gig" from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gig

gig (1)
"light carriage, small boat," 1790, perhaps, on notion of bouncing, from M.E. ghyg "spinning top" (in whyrlegyg, 1440), also "giddy girl" (giglet), from O.N. geiga "turn sideways," or Dan. gig "spinning top."

gig (2)
"job," first used by jazz musicians, attested from 1915 but said to have been in use c.1905; of uncertain origin.

-snip-

Here's a post from a member of an online musicians' forum:

"Found this on a website about word origins:
Gig is an interesting word with a variety of etymologically unrelated senses.

The oldest sense is that of a top or other whirling object. It dates to c. 1440. The origin is unknown. The sense of top is the source of some other senses, such as a giddy or flighty person, fun, merriment, and a whim.

The sense of a light, two-wheeled carriage dates to 1791. This sense is a transference from the earlier sense. The motion of the carriage and its tendency to upset are not unlike that of a top. Also related is the sense of gig meaning a ship's boat. This nautical sense dates to 1790.

Gig can also mean a spear or harpoon, and it is a verb meaning to spear or stab, as in Gig'em Aggies. This sense originally comes from the Spanish word for harpoon, fisga. The Spanish word appears in English in 1565 as fisgig. An alternate spelling is fizgig and the word is also folk-etymologized as fishgig, a harpoon for stabbing fish. The clipped form gig appears in 1722.

This brings us to the most common sense, that of a musician's engagement or job. The musical sense dates to 1926 and first arose as jazz slang in the US. But the origin is not in music. The use of gig to mean a non-musical job or occupation dates to 1908, and the sense of a business affair or event is a year older than that. The origin is unknown, but it may come from the slang term gag. This dates to 1890 and means business method, practice, or behavior. All these sense are American slang usages.

These last senses may be from, or be influenced by, an obsolete sense of gig. This sense of gig is a type of bet in a numbers game. It dates to 1847 and is an arbitrary use of the sense of gig as a carriage (a horse is another type of bet).

Bill Dinwiddie

http://www.trombone.org/trombone-l/archives/200605/060523.txt

-snip-

Bill Dinwiddie didn't document the name of the online etymology resource that he used. It's possible it might have been http://home.netcom.com/~mrlucky/gig.html :

"What's the origin of the word "GIG"?

Longtime audio guy Peter Stefan asked about the derivation of the word "gig". He was referring to the definition, "a job usu. for a specified time; esp.: an entertainer's engagement. (This def courtesy of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary).

The first historical reference for this meaning is documented as occuring in 1926, both in Webster's and the OED. Both assert that the origin is unknown.

www.phoenix.net/~melanie/et_e-g.htm#carnival is an archive of "Your Etymology Questions", wherein it is suggested, "…gig-a musical performance, likely comes from French gigue 'a ball or dance', from Middle French giguer 'to dance'. Jig (the verb) likely comes from the same source."

Now, no dictionary I checked (six or so) gives the word gig this definition, let alone this derivation, so I place little credence in this source.

Gig is truly a hard-working word. The earliest meaning of gig is Sumerian, in which it means black or dark. If you go back just a few hundred years, it refers to the vagina AND the asshole. Later in history, definitions include: something that whirls or is whirled; a 3-digit selection in a numbers game; a person of odd or grotesque appearance; a long light ship; a rowboat designed for speed rather than for work; a light two-wheeled one-horse carriage; a pronged spear for catching fish; a military demerit…and that's just the nouns!

The etymology for this slew of meanings varies, but the specific meaning about which Peter queried seems to have no identified derivation. Sorry Pete, I guess I blew this gig. No, not THAT kind of gig! What a mind!"


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: bobad
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:45 PM

Previous thread.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:59 PM

Yes, bobad. Actually I think this is the third time around (or more), but the thread you link is the most complete.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 11:33 PM

"The earliest meaning of gig is Sumerian, in which it means black or dark." Gig must then derive from performing at the Ziggurat (an early religious venue), the initial Z corrupted to a G. It is also interesting that the Sumerian GIG refers to black, so now we know Jazz really comes from Sumerian, Black, religious music traditions.

Funny that never came up in my History of the Ancient Near East classes at UCLA, nor my Folklore classes. Of course we didn't even know of Sumer back in those days; we thought they just misspelled Summer

Enough already!

My money is really on the French origin which Azizi noted. It makes the most sense, and so is probably wrong.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 12:50 AM

I always understood the term to be derived from "engagement" shortened to gig in musicians/bookers diaries


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: meself
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 01:13 AM

I always assumed it was something like that - but I don't believe I had any basis for it, other than that it was a somewhat logical explanation.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: meself
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 01:24 AM

Just checked the etymology site World Wide Words. It confirms the obscure origin of the word, repeating much of what has been said here. I've copied their article:


The term is usually taken to be of American origin, but the interesting thing is that the first two citations in the Oxford English Dictionary are from a London publication, Melody Maker, in 1926 and 1927. So the word in this sense has long been known in Britain.

Gig is yet another of those words for which researchers can give no firm origin, and what follows is largely supposition, following the leads given by Dr Jonathan Lighter in the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang.

The oldest sense of gig was of something that whirled or turned (as in whirligig); much later it was applied to a fast two-wheeled carriage, presumably because its big wheels went around quickly, and later to a fast ship's boat. There are many other senses.

From the 1840s in the US, Mr Lighter shows it also applied to a form of betting, involving a set of three or five numbers selected by the bettor. From his examples, it seems the winning numbers were drawn from a rotating device, called a wheel, presumably like a lottery or tombola drum, which must be the link to the name. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Mr Lighter suggests the word had begun to be applied more generally to a business, state of affairs, or an undertaking or event. This may have been influenced by a similar sense of gag that had come into being by the 1890s.

However, the great majority of Mr Lighter's examples in this sense date from 1957 or later, with only one from 1907 to suggest that it pre-dated the application of gig to an engagement to perform live music. This is why dictionaries are cautious about accepting this sequence of development of the word, even though it seems to be plausible.

These days, gig can have a wide range of senses, including a fairly new one that refers to any short-term paying commission or job; it need not be associated with music or performance, but it does preclude permanent full-time employment.


By the way, I heard one of my kids use "gig" the other night to mean a rock (or whatever they call it now) music show, as in "We're going to a gig later tonight" (i.e., as spectators). It seems to have acquired that additional meaning among his crowd at least.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 02:50 AM

Thanks bobad for posting a link to a previous discussion of the origin of the word 'gig'. That thread was interesting reading. That said, I'm glad that folks don't mind re-visiting the topic of a previous thread since no discussion is ever the same.

I'm taking the liberty to repost this comment from Poppagator from that previous Mudcat thread as I believe the French source of the word 'gig' may have been given too little consideration by Anglophile editors:

Subject: RE: Origins of the word 'Gig'
From: PoppaGator - PM
Date: 13 May 03 - 03:11 PM

Since there is a French word "gigue" with a similar meaning, I lean toward the theory that the currently familiar usage of "gig" probably dates back to the earliest days of jazz in New Orleans.

Many of the first generation of jazz musicians were French-speaking and bilingual Creole "gens de couleur" (people of color). Seems to me that these would have been the guys to first use and popularize the term "gig" for musical job or engagement.

(Incidentally, these Creoles were much more likely to have received formal education, including musical education, than their English-speaking black and white contemporaries, and so had great influence in the formative years of jazz as bandleaders, etc.)


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 03:11 AM

This next post falls in the category of probably off-topic but maybe not.

"Gigalo" {also written "Jigalo" are names of contemporary African American children's handclap rhymes or foot stomping rhymes. Two repeated lines in these rhymes is "my hands up high/my feet down low/and this is the way we [I] gigalo." See thread.cfm?threadid=100807&messages=30#2026188 Gigalo & other children's rhymes &cheers for examples of this rhyme.

I think that the American children's rhyme "Gigalo" has its origin in the British children's rhyme "High Low Jackalo" or "High Low Picalow". But I also wonder if the reference to "high" and "low" might have its source in the old American folk song "Old Joe Clark". Here's the pertinent verse to "Old Joe Clark" that I'm referring to:

Old Joe Clark, the preacher's son,
Preached all over the plain,
The only text he ever knew
Was "high low jack and the game".

@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4411

All of this to ask, was this card game what those online etymology sources meant by "a form of betting, involving a set of three or five numbers selected by the bettor" or was it a forerunner of that gambling game? And could these "Gigalo", "Jigalo", "High Low Jackalo", "High Low Piccalow" children's rhymes be folk etymology remnants of a card game that was played in places where jazz was also played and therefore contributed to work being called 'gigs'?

Maybe and maybe not.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 03:15 AM

Before any English teachers or former English teachers chide me on my grammatical error, let me post a correction:

"Two repeated lines in that rhyme are "my hands up high/my feet down low/and this is the way we [I] gigalo."


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 03:47 AM

This posts falls in the category of "for what it's worth":

My ex-husband was a jazz musician {trumpet/fugle horn} who always referred to his music engagements as 'gigs'. The word 'gig' as he pronounced it and as other jazz musicians I have heard pronounce it was never pronounced as 'jig'.

And the gig/jig words in those "Jigalo"/Gigalo" rhymes that I have heard in the Pittsburgh area are always pronounced like "jig". I got into the habit of writing these examples from oral tradition as "Gigalo" but the "Jigalo" spelling is probably more accurate, and that spelling would minimize mischaracterizations of those rhymes being about sexual gigalos.

This information about pronunciation may weaken any possible connection those children's rhymes might have with the word that musicians use for short term work. But for what it's worth, I thought I should mention it.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: ard mhacha
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 04:56 AM

In Ireland, how often in my young days did I hear"Are you going to the gig," it referred to any form of musical entertainment, a dance, concert, ceili.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM

This might have been posted elsewhere, but I seem to remember hearing on Radio 4 (so it must be true:-))it was first used by jobbing Jewish musicians as an abbreviation in diaries/calenders for God is Good..eg there'd be monet in the pot later.

I don't know how valid this is, but I like the story

Baz


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:02 AM

... short for engagement


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM

I believe it comes from the word, engagement.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: meself
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM

Okay, it's clear that many people, myself included, are/were under the impression that "gig" derives from "engagement" - but if you (harumph) read the thread, you will find that there doesn't seem to be any evidence to support that derivation, so it doesn't matter how many people believe in it ...


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:16 AM

When I was in the army, getting "gigged" was receiving a bad mark for your unit's conduct or your personal gear display, for example. Then, of course, we could begin a new digression into the gigabyte...


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 01:12 PM

engagement is also how he word is used ... no etymological evidence, perhaps - but the obvious link makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 08:02 PM

I can't see how engagement, with a hard g followed by a soft one, could give rise to the word "gig" with its two hard g's.

The same kind of problem arises with the French word "gigue" which is pronounced in the same way as its English equivalent, jig.

One suggestion occurs - could it possibly be related to "giggle"? Getting a gig can be a bit of a laugh, after all...


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Monique
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:17 AM

According to Le Robert, Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, direction Alain Rey The French word "gigue" -pronounced the same way as "jig"- was borrowed from the English. When it was assimilated to the French it was related to the Fr. word "gigue" meaning "leg", that comes from "gigot" (mutton leg (thigh) -when a sheep is still a sheep we just call it "patte", leg. The word "gigot" comes from the High German "Giga" music instrument from which comes the present German word "Geige" meaning fiddle/violin because of its shape. But some authors think that the word "gigot" comes from the old verb "giguer" that comes from "giber" meaning "to move legs and arms in uncoordinated movements" and that later became "gigoter". So this could explain a French origin for "jig" but I can't figure out how "gig" could originate in a French word.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:56 AM

Thanks, Monique for that information about the source of the French word "gigue" and the High German word "giga".

Btw, is "giga" also pronounced like "jig"?


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Monique
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:42 AM

"g" in German is always pronounced like in "gig".


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:55 AM

"g" in German is always pronounced like in "gig".

Aha!

So then why haven't etymologists latched onto that German word "giga" as a source for the word "gig"?

Is it because they think that the early jazz musicians might not have known that German word? But as PoppaGator wrote in that post of his that I added to this thread, a number of early jazz musicians were educated, and some may have been educated in Europe and so may have been familiar with that German word giga" and may have popularized it in New Orleans and elsewhere, using it as a short cut way of referring to a short term music job.

I'm not saying that it's actually the source of the word "gig", but I'm wondering why the "High German "Giga" music instrument" rarely appears to be mentioned in articles about the source of the word "gig".


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Monique
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM

...and as far as I know -correct me if I'm wrong- English words beginning by "gi" or "ge" pronounced like in "gig" (give, get, gold...) are of Germanic origin while those pronounced like "jig" (general, giant, genius) come from Latin or Greek through (Middle) French or other Romance languages.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 10:05 AM

Azizi, perhaps the German 'Giga' is rarely mentioned in articles about the antecedent & present use of the word 'Gig', is that etymologists have found no relationship between them. However, the OED Compact Edition [p. 1141 (p158)] define Gig as coming from Italian Gigue from Gigalira, 'a kind of a wood harmonicon.' While this may not be the actual origin of the word GIG, at least it has a musical connection.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Monique
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 11:20 AM

Sorry guys, I skipped half the article from my dictionary about the "gigot" (mutton leg): "is generally considered as derivating (end 14th century) from the Old French guigue (c. 1120 - 1150) "3 string instrument of music". Guigue was borrowed from the Old High German Giga (12th century) "string instrument". But this is related to "gigue" = "jig" and not to "gig".

I don't think that it'll help much but the Oxford concise dictionary of English Etymology, (1996) says about "gig":
† flighty girl (XIII)
† whipping-top (XV)
† fancy, whim (XVI)
† (dial.) fun, glee; (dial.) odd person, fool (XVIII)
Light, two-wheeled carriage; light ship's boat (XVIII)
All these uses may be referred to the general notion of light or quick movement, which is also that of the later JIG; but the history of both words is obscure.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: meself
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM

As does the German "giga" (a type of mus. instrument, apparently). While I am skeptical of the notion of a German origin of the word, it should be noted that there was a large German immigration into the southern states, as well as into much of the US, during the 19th & early 20th centuries.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:30 PM

McGrath says the change from a soft to hard g(engagement to gig)is unlikely. But it is strikingly reminiscent of the word git, which is always reckoned to have come from illegitimate, isn't it? Mind you, "popularly supposed" doesn't mean "true" does it?


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:48 PM

Re: Git--
I have always thought that 'git', at least in the western U.S. was a form of get, as in, "you better git gone."
While there are multiple meanings for 'git', so far I've found none that stem from illigitimate or ligitimate. Is this perhaps a regional use?


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:50 PM

"Git" in England is an insult, "you git" meaning "you bastard" or something similar.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:56 PM

"Git" as a Western-US mispronunciation of "get" (as in "git going") is a verb.

"Git" as used in England/UK in an insulting or demeaning sense ("And curse Sir Walter Raleigh / he was such a stupid git") is a noun.

No connection with each other, and certianly none with "gig."


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:33 PM

I think the insulting noun "git" was originally southern English, but due to the all-pervading influence of TV etc seems to be supplanting the northern "get" that I grew up using.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:41 PM

the word git, which is always reckoned to have come from illegitimate, isn't it?

I've never heard that suggested. Git there is surely cognate with the got, as in "got with child", or "begotten".

A German or Yiddish origin for "gig" seems quite plausible, since there were plenty of Jewish musicians around at the time the word seems to have cropped up.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Dulci
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 12:10 PM

Thank you all for the above posts - most informative.

How did we end up with git??

Cheers
Dulci


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Mix O'Lydian
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 12:20 PM

It derives from the dance of that name:

English : Jig
French : Gigue
Italian : Giga


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: meself
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 12:59 PM

Evidence?


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 01:12 PM

I remember that when I first heard "gig" as slang for "musical engagement," about 35 years ago, I didn't think of it as being short for "engagement." I assumed it was short for "whirligig," which was then a popular way of saying "whatsis" or "thingamajig" or "thing whose correct name I can't think of" or "thing whose exact nature I don't want to discuss right now." It seemed to fit in, because if the musician wanted to discuss the exact nature of the engagement he could say "I'm going to play piano at my cousin's wedding" instead of the more generalized "I've got a gig."

That's totally unscientific, of course. It was just my impression at the time. But I believe that "whirligig" is a very old word, used by Shakespeare, and that "gig" has often been used as a short form of it. It seems likely that "gig" as a word for spinning top started out as "whirligig" in the dim past. And perhaps the same is true of "gigue" as a lively, whirling dance originating in England at the time of Shakespeare, and maybe even "gig" as a light, bouncy two-wheeled carriage. And why not also "whirligig" or "whirligigging" for the activity of running around town to engagements at various gigue-halls, maybe in a light carriage capable of carrying instruments, entourage, and paraphernalia.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Dave (Bridge)
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 02:54 AM

The Negro musicians used to play in the streets and get moved on or arrested as it was illegal. They then contrived to play on a small cart called a 'gig' which was easier to move and enabled a faster get away. Thus 'going on a gig' or doing a gig. This is my understanding of the term.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 05:58 AM

An 1894 Slang Dictionary gives one meaning of "gig" as fun, frolic, a spree . It quotes the following example from 1820:

In search of lark or some delicious gig,
The maind delights on, when 'tis in prime twig."


It claims this sense derives from an Old French sense ef gigue meaning a jig, a romp.

Seems to me this is not far from our modern sense.

Regards
p.s. Mind you.... The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue glosses "gig" as "a woman's privities" !


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 07:07 AM

Its an acronym to remind older musicians what they have to do that night:-

Get....Instrument....Go somewhere


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST,thecatlady
Date: 02 Jan 09 - 01:16 PM

weelittle drummer...

DYING!!! I am sitting here with 3 other musicians, and wee are rolling!!! Great answer!


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Jan 09 - 02:05 PM

The German "giga" is a red herring as it hasn't been in use for centuries. American jazz musicians having spent time in Germany wouldn't have been THAT educated!


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 08:18 PM

In early 1900's when the musician landed a performance they used to say God Is Good. That's where the acronym comes from GIG = God Is Good.


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Subject: RE: Origin of the word 'gig'
From: BanjoRay
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 08:36 PM

I've always believed that gig was a term used in the jazz community. In New Orleans, jazz bands would often play on a cart, which is why the trombone was called a tailgate, because the lowered tailgate of the cart allowed room for the maximum slide of the instrument. If the cart was called a gig, there's your answer!


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