Gig - Encyclopedia




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GIG, apparently an onomatopoeic word for any light whirling object, and so used of a top, as in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, v. i. 70 ("Goe whip thy gigge"), or of a revolving lure made of feathers for snaring birds. The word is now chiefly used of a light two-wheeled cart or carriage for one horse, and of a narrow, light, ship's boat for oars or sails, and also of a clinker-built rowing-boat used for rowing on the Thames. "Gig" is further applied, in mining, to a wooden chamber or box divided in the centre and used to draw miners up and down a pit or shaft, and to a textile machine, the "gig-mill" or "gigging machine," which raises the nap on cloth by means of teazels. A "gig" or "fish-gig" (properly "fiz-gig," possibly an adaptation of Span. fisga, harpoon) is an instrument used for spearing fish.

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