Sunday, February 8, 2009

Since someone asked...

Where did the word "gig" come from...on checking around the old worldwide web it came to be used around the 1920's by surprise, surprise - jazz musicians to mean paid work. Some origins suggest it's from the French "gigue" meaning dance or ball. Of course, whose services would be required at such an event? There is a whole "jazz" language that came about through musicians which seemed to reach its pinnacle of slang around the Be Bop period. Craig Magill who has been very active in the jazz scene in Edmonton for ages - including president of the Edmonton Jazz Society once did a hilarious article about "jazzspeak"...including words like "crib" - meaning house and "threads" - clothing, "cats" - guys, "squares"...you get the picture... As usual, the "hippest" individuals - which I think is another jazz slang word along with "cool" have the most up to date slang.
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