Git (slang)

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Git is a term of insult with origins in British English denoting an unpleasant, silly, incompetent, annoying, senile, elderly or childish person.[1] As a mild[2] oath it is roughly on a par with prat and marginally less pejorative than berk. Typically a good-natured admonition with a strong implication of familiarity, git is more severe than twit or idiot but less severe than wanker, arsehole or twat when offence is intended.[2][3][4]

The word git first appeared in print in 1946, but is undoubtedly older.[citation needed] It is originally an alteration of the word get, dating back to the 14th century.[citation needed][5] A shortening of beget,[6] get insinuates that the recipient is someone's misbegotten offspring and therefore a bastard.[7] In parts of northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland get is still used in preference to git; the get form is used in the Beatles song "I'm So Tired".[8]

The word has been ruled by the Speaker of the House of Commons to be unparliamentary language.[9][10]

The word was used self-deprecatingly by Linus Torvalds in naming the Git version control system.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ayto, John; Simpson, John (2005), The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198610521
  2. ^ a b "TV's most offensive words". The Guardian. 21 November 2005.
  3. ^ Hughes, Geoffrey (2006), An encyclopedia of swearing: the social history of oaths, profanity, foul language, and ethnic slurs in the English-speaking world, p. 200, ISBN 9780765612311
  4. ^ McEnery, Tony (2006), Swearing in English: bad language, purity and power from 1586 to the present, Routledge, p. 30, ISBN 9780415258371
  5. ^ "git | Origin and meaning of git by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  6. ^ Grose, Francis (1785), Classical dictionary of the vulgar tongue, S. Hooper
  7. ^ Harper, Douglas. "git". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  8. ^ "I'm so tired". The Beatles.
  9. ^ Hughes, Geoffrey (2006), An encyclopedia of swearing: the social history of oaths, profanity, foul language, and ethnic slurs in the English-speaking world, p. 477, ISBN 9780765612311
  10. ^ Hunt, M; Maloney, Alison (1999), Joy of Swearing, Michael O'Mara Books, ISBN 9781843171621
  11. ^ "GitFaq: Why the 'git' name?". Git SCM Wiki.
  12. ^ McMillan, Robert (19 April 2005), "After controversy, Torvalds begins work on git", InfoWorld, ISSN 0199-6649