Posted by ESC on April 09, 2001
In Reply to: Cut of his jib posted by ESC on April 09, 2001
: : I like the cut of your jibb
: CUT OF HIS JIB - "The cut of a jib, or foresail of a ship indicates her character to a sailor and 'jib' means 'face' in sailor's slang. Thus 'don't like the cut of his jib,' which probably dates to a century ago, translates as 'I'm suspicious of him; I don't like this expression on his face.'" From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).
: Another source, "Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions" by Bill Beavis and Richard G. McCloskey (Sheridan House, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1995. First published in Great Britain, 1983), says the literal meaning of "jib" may be "nose."
So, if someone likes the cut of your gib, it is not an insult. It is a compliment.