Sailor Speak of the Week – Jib

Note the jib sail rigged forward of the mast.



  • Generally speaking, a triangular sail rigged fore-and-aft on sailing vessels, and carried forward of the fore staysails on larger vessels.


Probably earlier than the 18th century. Possibly from Low German.


Sometimes also spelled, “gibb.” There’s no definite specifications for a jib since many countries had their own variations of it. In fact, the phrase, “cut of your jib” stems from the fact that some jibs were distinct enough to identify the national origins of a vessel, and therefore, the sailors.


Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic Seaport Museum.

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