When you agree with your friends, do you jive with them, or do you jibe with them? When you’re dancing in the 1950s, are you doing the jibe? If you’re making fun of somebody, are you gibing them?
Raise your hand if you assumed that jive was the right answer to all of these questions.
(Me too, until a few weeks ago.)
If you want to show off your sexy vocabulary skills to all your friends, pour yourself a glass of full-fat eggnog and keep reading to learn the difference between jive and jibe (and whether or not you ever need to use gibe).
Jive, the most commonly used of these three words, is most often used when talking about hipsters and slang. It can also mean deceptive or foolish talk, like when you teach middle school and that one kid swears that the dog really did eat their homework. They’re giving you some serious jive.
Jibe is the word you ought to be using when you agree or align with something, like when you’re looking for a workplace that shares your passions and values. You want a place you can jibe with.
… and now my computer is trying to tell me that jibe is a misspelling. 🙄 It’s not!
Both jibe and gibe can be used as a synonym for tease or taunt — but they’re still not the same as the deceitful jive. Honestly, even if you never use gibe with a g, you’ll be fine.
Go forth, my novice wordsmiths, and make sure you only jibe with people who get your jive!
Edited to add: I didn’t quite explain what jive means when talking about hipsters. In this context, jive is the word used to describe the way hipsters talk. They talk jive. Thanks, Shannon, for pointing this out!