cut of one's jib

Idioms & Phrases

cut of one's jib

One's general appearance or personality, as in I don't like the cut of Ben's jib. In the 17th century the shape of the jib sail often identified a vessel's nationality, and hence whether it was hostile or friendly. The term was being used figuratively by the early 1800s, often to express like or dislike for someone.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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