Jab, jab truce!

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Senior Member
She is still eating her toast. He puts one hand on her shoulder and she tilts her head and presses her cheek against his hand.
Jab, jab, truce! This, it seems, is marriage –or their marriage, anyway.
She has regained the high ground with the cereal bowl.
Source: The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
Context: Grace and her husband Callum are having breakfast. Callum is leaving to work after two weeks of paternity leave.

What does the phrase Jan, jab, truce meaning? Is this a common phrase amongst native speakers for ‘fighting and making up’ in a marriage?

truce: a temporary respite, as from trouble or pain.
jab: to punch, esp. with a short, quick blow.

Thank you.
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It sounds like they have just had some sort of (minor?) row or fight. Jab is used figurativey as well as literally (to insult or make a negative comment), so "He jabs, then she jabs and then they declare a truce"?

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    No, it’s not a common phrase amongst couples.
    It sounds more like a little thing a couple might create for their own use, perhaps.
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