Gibe, jibe, jive

Gibe refers to a taunt or a derisive remark. It functions as both a verb (to taunt) and a noun (taunt). Jibe has a nautical use (relating to turning the sail to go on an opposite tack), but it’s most often used to mean agree or to be in accordJive refers to either jazz music, dancing, or nonsense talk, although it can sound old-fashioned or ironic in its senses unrelated to dance. It functions as both a noun (for the dance, music, or talk) and a verb (to engage in the dance, music, or talk).

 A fourth word, gybe, is an alternative spelling of the nautical sense of jibe. Most of us will never have use for it.

Examples

Gibe

Members lightheartedly gibed Valeriote when he said they joined the cause “with little or no convincing.” [Guelph Mercury]

For all the insults hurled at “Disneyland with the death penalty” (to use William Gibson’s gibe), Singapore provides better schools and hospitals and safer streets than most Western countries. [Economist]

Jibe

How Conrad’s budget resolution will jibe with what Ryan puts out is anyone’s guess. [CNN]

You can, however, use “cultural fit” as a catchall when your personality doesn’t jibe with a team or organisation. [Business Daily Africa]

Jive

We’re guessing not too many are tuning in to see Mike Catherwood do the jive. [Los Angeles Times]

Because, brother, that was some slick jive you just laid down tonight. [comment on Big Government]

Soviet Delegate Andrei Vishinsky revealed in the General Assembly Thursday that he is hep to American jive. [The Times-News]

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