The gig/jig is up

Sic240

New Member
Spanish
What does the term "the gig is up" means??

It was used under a context in which a person found out about a scam he was going to be a victim of.

He just exclaimed "soooo... the gig is up huh"
 
  • Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think it's usually spelled "jig" and "the jig is up" and the phrase origin can be found here.

    'Jig' is a very old term for a lively dance, but in Elizabethan times the word became slang for a practical joke or a trick. 'The jig is up' - meaning your trick or game is finished, has been exposed, we're onto you now - derives from this obsolete slang word, not the 'jig' that is a lively dance."
    I note that "jig" can be spelled either way.
     
    Last edited:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I've never heard of "gig" as an alternate spelling of jig. I believe that "gig" in the sentence quoted is an error, since clearly the phrase intended was "the jig is up".

    Gig is a different word with several other meanings, most commonly a booking for a musician or other performer.
     

    Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    or a "gig line" in the military--thus a "gig" is a demeanor in that world. But this odd "j"/dʒ/ sound in English is hard to render in our alphabet. Jest, Joke, jaybird. Jew. But the PhraseFinder link I used does suggest this alternative spelling if not pronunciation.
     

    Sexy Muffin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Dear English Only,

    I am not quite sure about the usage of 'gig is up'
    in the sixth episode of the seven season of South Park ("Lil' Crime Stoppers")
    as found in the following context (taken from http://southpark.wikia.com/wiki/Lil'_Crime_Stoppers/Script)

    Tucker: [into the megaphone] This is Agent Tucker with the FBI! We have you surrounded... The gig is up, Fosse!


    I wonder whether 'gig is up' in confused with 'jig is up' or
    whether it is used correctly and means something different.

    Thank you.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Having played a few gigs myself, I usually hear something like "The gig's over, man. They say we've gotta get our shit (equipment) outta there tonight." "The gig is up" would sound odd to me, Sexy Muffin.
    I never hear or use "the jig is up" myself although I've run across it in fiction before.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Is "The game is up" equivalent to "The gig is up"? I've heard that "The game is up" also means "I see through your trick."
     
    Top