in jig time


2 [jig]
a rapid, lively, springy, irregular dance for one or more persons, usually in triple meter.
a piece of music for or in the rhythm of such a dance.
Obsolete. prank; trick.
verb (used with object), jigged, jigging.
to dance (a jig or any lively dance).
to sing or play in the time or rhythm of a jig: to jig a tune.
to move with a jerky or bobbing motion; jerk up and down or to and fro.
verb (used without object), jigged, jigging.
to dance or play a jig.
to move with a quick, jerky motion; hop; bob.
in jig time, Informal. with dispatch; rapidly: We sorted the mail in jig time.
the jig is up, Slang. it is hopeless; no chance remains: When the burglar heard the police siren, he knew the jig was up.

1550–60; in earliest sense “kind of dance” perhaps < Middle French giguer to frolic, gambol, probably < an unattested WGmc verb (cf. gig1); semantic development of other senses unclear

jiglike, jiggish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
jig (dʒɪɡ)
1.  any of several old rustic kicking and leaping dances
2.  a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance, usually in six-eight time
3.  a mechanical device designed to hold and locate a component during machining and to guide the cutting tool
4.  angling any of various spinning lures that wobble when drawn through the water
5.  mining Also called: jigger a device for separating ore or coal from waste material by agitation in water
6.  obsolete a joke or prank
vb , jigs, jigging, jigged
7.  to dance (a jig)
8.  to jerk or cause to jerk up and down rapidly
9.  (often foll by up) to fit or be fitted in a jig
10.  (tr) to drill or cut (a workpiece) in a jig
11.  mining to separate ore or coal from waste material using a jig
12.  (intr) to produce or manufacture a jig
13.  slang (Austral) to play truant from school
[C16 (originally: a dance or the music for it; applied to various modern devices because of the verbal sense: to jerk up and down rapidly): of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"lively dance," c.1560, perhaps related to M.Fr. giguer "to dance," or to the source of Ger. Geige "violin." Meaning "piece of sport, trick" is 1592, now mainly in phrase the jig is up (first attested 1777 as the jig is over).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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