Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dictionary Moment: Jibe

While the little boys were occupied with not cleaning their room the other night, we decided to introduce the older ones to the joys of Scrabble.  Actually, I was surprised that they had not played previously.  It must have to something do with having little ones in the house.  Anyway, due to the boys' inexperience, the opportunities at hand , and lucky combinations of letters in my draws, I was stomping everyone soundly.  Until Scoot landed JIBE with the J on a double letter score and the E on a triple word score.  63 points.  Yikes!

We all knew it was a word, of course, but only had a vague idea of the definition.  So we consulted the red Webster's, our official game dictionary, and found three definitions:
1:  to shift a fore-and-aft sail suddenly and forcibly from one side to the other
2:  gibe, or taunt
Both of these definitions were familiar, probably relating to the Pirates game the guys like to play.  But then
3:  to be in accord, agree, as in "that doesn't jibe with what I know"
Wait.  I thought that was "jive."  So we looked across the page, and found that jive means
1:  swing music or dancing
2:  deceptive or foolish talk, jargon
3:  to tease
Nothing about agreement.  So, next time you're at the dance hall, where people change direction with the wind and engage in foolish talk, and you hear someone say, "That doesn't jive!", you can smugly answer, "It certainly does not.  Neither does it jibe." 

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