Bib (garment)

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A baby bib
A baby wearing a bib while being fed

A bib is a garment worn hanging from the neck on the chest to protect clothing from accidentally spilled food. Bibs are frequently used by young children, especially infants, but also by some adults. Bibs are also worn when consuming certain "messy" foods. In addition, bibs are used for infants when they drool a lot, for example when they are teething.

A bib may also refer to the part of a garment that covers the chest, a garment that is used by a team to identify themselves on a field of play, or a lead covering used to prevent X-ray radiation from reaching parts of the body not being X-rayed.


The word, reported in English since 1580, probably stems from the verb bibben "to drink" (c.1380), from the Latin bibere, either because it was worn while drinking or because it "soaked up" spills.[1]

Other uses[edit]

Part of garment[edit]

The bib of an apron

The term bib may also refer to the part of a garment that covers the chest. For instance, an apron that covers the chest may be referred to as a bib apron. The part of a jumper dress or of a pair of overalls that covers the chest may also be referred to as a bib.


In sport, it may refer to a garment that used by a team to identify themselves on the field of play (a jersey), or to identify a participant in a competition with a start number ("bib number"). In netball, bibs are used by the umpire to identify players' positions so it can be determined who is within their allowed area.


Paper bibs are also commonly used in dentist offices to protect the patient's clothing during checkups and cleanings. Another medical use is during an x-ray, a lead bib can be put over a patient to prevent the radiation from reaching parts other than the part of the body being tested.

For adults[edit]

Some adults[who?] wear a bib at every meal but most people don't. Most adults[who?] wear a bib when they are eating messy foods like tomato spaghetti or lobster or crab. Adult bibs have become more popular in recent years for messy mealtimes and the availability for various styles and materials has grown, thanks to online shopping. Foods such as ribs, ramen, pasta, crab and anything that stains or splashes, makes it a highly recommended accessory for any age. With the heightened awareness of conserving water and energy by minimizing laundry, adult bibs are gradually becoming a standard item at the dinner table. Women are using bibs more often for applying makeup in addition to mealtimes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ bib. (n.d.) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014. (1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). Retrieved June 28 2016 from

External links[edit]