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  1. #11
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Strictly anecdotal, but when I was growing up in Detroit in the 1970s, "jivin'" (used as a verb) meant goofing around, kidding, boasting, not telling the entire truth.

    For example, you're a young child and you go to a playmate's house to see his huge 150 pound vicious dog that's part wolf that he always brags about. You're disappointed to find out that the dog is just a common, ordinary, playful mutt.....Friend will defend himself, poking you in the shoulder and say "Man, I was just jivin' you."

    Or Charles might brag to his friends about his prowess with women, about how he manages to seduce the finest-looking women in town with just a few words. After Charles leaves the locker room, a friend of his will tell the rest of the group: "Don't let Charles fool you, he's just jivin'. He lives with his mama and hasn't been out on a date in two years."

    "Jive" as a noun referred to this type of slang.

  2. #12
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Thank you.
    I think I understand the meaning of the word "jive".

    But I still think that something (such as "I'm" or "you're" or something) is omitted before "jivin" because it's being used as a verb in this case, "Jivin, man." because verbs need subjects. For example, people can say "Coming." when then are called by someone and they want to say "I'm coming." So, "(I'm) coming."
    So I'd like to know who (or what) is being jiving here, when someone says "Jivin, man."

    Also, is there any chance that "jivin" here means smoking malijuana?
    I see in dictionaries that the noun form of "jive" means "malijuana" as a slang, but I'm not sure about when it is used as the verb.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    But I still think that something (such as "I'm" or "you're" or something) is omitted before "jivin" because it's being used as a verb in this case, "Jivin, man." because verbs need subjects. For example, people can say "Coming." when then are called by someone and they want to say "I'm coming." So, "(I'm) coming."
    So I'd like to know who (or what) is being jiving here, when someone says "Jivin, man."
    Re-read post #11. You are unlikely to get an answer that satisfies you unless a speaker of that dialect at that time posts here.

    My thought (probably wrong) is that the woman is saying jivin' is the way we used to talk = (roughly) jiving is what we called the 'dialect' we used then.

  4. #14
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Re-read post #11. You are unlikely to get an answer that satisfies you unless a speaker of that dialect at that time posts here.

    My thought (probably wrong) is that the woman is saying jivin' is the way we used to talk = (roughly) jiving is what we called the 'dialect' we used then.
    fivejedjon,
    Jivin, man (not only Jivin but also man) is written italics in my first post and also in the original book. So I'm afraid your thought is not likely to be correct. Thank you anyway.

    And I guess you mean post #10, not #11.
    In Coolfootluke's example, since it means "What we did all day is skiing.", I think there is a subject (What we did all day) and is/am/are (is). At least readers can understand that.
    (If you do mean #11, I did read it. I understood it, and I thought maybe there are other meanings, too.)

    SoothingDave, I wouldn't use it. I just wanted to understand this part of the book perfectly. The book is actually describing 70's.
    If you know that the word is outdated, like a 1970s leisure suit, I thought maybe you could explain more.

    But I'll give up if no one can explain. I know that even native speakers can't explain everything. Thank you everyone again.
    Last edited by pinkie9; 25-Feb-2011 at 11:32. Reason: typo

  5. #15
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Pinkie, what is it that you don't understand? The grammar or the meaning?

    "Jivin'" doesn't have anything to do with marijuana here. It's just a way of talking. As for the grammar, I cannot be sure what that woman wanted "jivin'" to be. But the simplest explanation seems to be that it works like an adverb. You surely know that -ing forms can be used in adverbial phrases in English.

    Looking at you, I feel so happy.

    The underlined phrase works like an adverb. It would seem that "jivin'" is an adverb too in your sentence.

  6. #16
    petit_minou is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Pinkie,

    This word is not necessarily outdated. The word is used by different English-speaking cultures in different ways. In African American culture, it is a slang word that is used and easily understood.

    "Jive turkey" is a phrase used to describe someone who thinks they are cool or interesting, but they are not. "Turkey" is used as a derogatory term with "jive".

  7. #17
    Coolfootluke is offline Member
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    Default Re: meaning of "Jivin"

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    But I'll give up if no one can explain. I know that even native speakers can't explain everything. Thank you everyone again.
    I am not a teacher.

    The trouble is that there seem to be no native speakers of that language here, if indeed it is what is sometimes called "Ebonics", and more neutrally, "African American Vernacular English" (AAVE). Its conjugation of "to be", especially, is quite a lot different from that of Standard American English (SAE). Any attempt by me to answer your question would be a guess; you might as well ask me what a Turk meant in Turkish. In SAE, she might have elided "We would be" to make "We would be jivin'", denoting habitual action in the past, although "We used to jive" would be standard, indicating that she was employing some locution unknown to me. My difficulty is that habitual or continuous action is one realm of verb usage where AAVE is more complex than SAE. "We be jivin'", for example, would mean something like "We always jive."

    There is an overview of AAVE on line at the University of Hawaii, if you want to learn about it.

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