Gist vs jest

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Gist and jest are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables gist and jest, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Gist is the meat of something. The gist is the essence of something or the point of something. The word gist is derived from the French word, gesir, which means to lie. Gist is sometimes misspelled as jist.

Jest means to joke or tease. Jest is used a a noun and as an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are jests, jested, jesting, jester. A jester is a historical comedian, a person who acts the fool for a sovereign. Jester is occasionally used today to mean someone who acts the fool. Traditionally, a jester wore a cap with bells attached and carried a faux scepter. The word jest is derived from the Latin word, gesta, which means a telling of heroic deeds.


“They don’t get the gist of everything, so there has been a lot of explaining,” Sumrina said Thursday, as patients filed in and out of the mosque for vaccination. (Hartford Courant)

The gist of the matter is that for the most significant risks, they sometimes do not come through the front door. (Fintech Times)

He told the FBI that Steele mischaracterized at least one of his Russian source contacts and noted much of what he gave to Steele was “word of mouth and hearsay,” some of which stemmed from a “conversation that [he] had with friends over beers,” and the most salacious allegations may have been made in “jest.” (Washington Examiner)

“See, you dance and you sing and then get embarrassed, just like your mama,” Kim sweetly jested with her daughter. (Hello! Magazine)