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"lively dance," 1560s, perhaps related to Middle French giguer "to dance," or to the source of German Geige "violin." Meaning "piece of sport, trick" is 1590s, now mainly in phrase the jig is up (first attested 1777 as the jig is over). As a verb from 1580s.
folk dance, usually solo, that was popular in Scotland and northern England in the 16th and 17th centuries and in Ireland since the 18th century. It is an improvised dance performed with rapid footwork and a rigid torso.