Gist vs. jist

gist is the main part of something, usually used with a direct object. It can also be the ground for legal action. Gist comes from the French word gist. Often misspelled as jist

Jist is the common phonetic spelling of a United States Southerner’s way of saying ‘just’. 

Interestingly, the origin of gist is the Latin word jacēre.



 He is uneasy quoting Macbeth and has slightly garbled the line, but you get the gist. [Guardian]

Think of it as the “Twitter of sports” with 2-minute segments (hence the “120” reference), and you get the gist of the design, that MLBAM is touting as a game-changer. [Forbes]

“My eye was jist a-blazin’!” [Twain]

He jist knowed Willie Price had lied when he said he seen ’em over on Crooked Creek. [Giles]

7 thoughts on “Gist vs. jist”

  1. People not from the Southern US do not need to speak about us as they have no clue. For that matter, many southerners do not know of or understand the layered and complicated society (societies) we have. Hardly any southerner I know pronounces just as “jist.” It is more commonly pronounced “juss”, second after that would be “jess.” Jist? No. Juss no.

      • No such thing as correct or incorrect when it comes to pronunciation. Spelling and grammar can be incorrect, but you can’t say my accent is incorrect.

        • Well actually you can say that your accent is incorrect but not so much as your accent, more as your pronunciation which is often associated with your accent. When a word is written you can mispronounce it e.g just- just or you can speak it without clear diction for example just-juss so that wouldn’t be due to your accent it would be due to poor diction/ laziness of correct speech. So you can say that both your accent and your pronounciation are incorrect if the two in some cases go hand in hand

  2. Did you seriously use Mark Twain as a source for your supposedly “accurate” and “up to date” assertions about southern culture and language use? Wow, how can you even claim in clear concience that you are any type of an authority on the English language? Don’t generalize about an entire region of people, especially when you don’t know what the hell you’re even talking about.


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