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Old English ribb "rib," from Proto-Germanic *rebja- (cf. Old Norse rif, Old Saxon ribbi, Old Frisian ribb, Middle Dutch, Dutch ribbe, Old High German ribba, German Rippe), literally "a covering" (of the cavity of the chest), from PIE *rebh- "to roof, cover" (cf. Greek ereptein "to roof," Old Church Slavonic rebro "rib, reef"). As an item of food from early 15c. Rib joint "brothel" is slang from 1943, probably in reference to Adam's rib (cf. rib "woman, wife," attested from 1580s).
"tease, fool," 1930, apparently from rib (n.); perhaps as a figurative suggestion of poking someone in the ribs. Related: Ribbed; ribbing.
One of a series of long curved bones occurring in 12 pairs in humans and extending from the spine to or toward the sternum.
any of several pairs of narrow, curved strips of bone (sometimes cartilage) attached dorsally to the vertebrae and, in higher vertebrates, to the breastbone ventrally, to form the bony skeleton, or rib cage, of the chest. The ribs help to protect the internal organs that they enclose and lend support to the trunk musculature.