Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jive adj.

[jive n.1 (2)]
(orig. US black)

1. a generally negative term, applicable to a range of dubious actions, fake, phoney, deceitful, unappealing, hypocritical, insincere etc.

[US](con. 1944) J.H. Burns Gallery (1948) 6: His cap was set straight on his head, not at a jive angle that young parachutists love.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Golden Spike 165: Why don’t you leave that jive bitch alone?
[US]J. Baldwin Blues for Mister Charlie 41: Jive mothers. They can rape and kill our women and we can’t do nothing.
[US]R. Giallombardo Study of a Women’s Prison 116: The jive bitch is a trouble maker. The strategy often employed by the jive bitch involves distortion of facts, as for example when she is interested in breaking up an established homosexual relationship.
[US]N. Giovanni ‘A Revolutionary Tale’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 30: Ain’t that the jivest shit you ever heard?
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 75: She ain’t nothing but a jazzy ‘jive whore’.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 166: Fuck you nigger, in your jive ass.
[US]R. De Christoforo Grease 150: What a jive jerk!
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 57: Wilson was sure this man wasn’t a cop, which made him even more of a useless jive asshole.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 50: I’m sure she had no idea how jive I’d become.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Stephanie’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 59: The cops heard his jive confession. The cops cut him loose.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] He and Malone don’t do that jive brothers-from-another-mother, ebony-and-ivory bullshit.

2. unimportant, trivial, foolish.

[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 192: I was going to get busted for something jive, something like smoking reefers.
[US]‘Soulful Spider’ ‘Pimp in a Clothing Store’ in Milner & Milner (1972) 286: Yessiree, Jack, he’s coming on down high-sidin’[...] hollering, ‘Hey, you jive malformies, you better get on your job out there, quit your chippying!’.
[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 91: When I got short […] my platoon commander gave me a jive job sending me to the rear with my shotgun to get the mail.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 60: If we couldn’t take a jive beating [...] we’d never survive the serious thumpings that would come in time.

In derivatives

jivey (adj.) (also jivy)

1. (US) redolent of jive music, lively, aware [SE jive, swing music].

[UK]M. Drake et al. ‘Mairzy Doats’ [lyrics] If the words sound queer, and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey.
[US]Mad mag. Sept. 41: It’s frantically cool and jivey that we’re on this kick.
[US]S. Yurick Warriors (1966) 15: The radio announced, in that frenzied jivy way ‘. . . and now for...’.
[US]J. Horton ‘Time and cool people’ in Kochman Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out 29: Style [...] may be expressed in the loose walk, the jivey or dancing walk, the slow, cool walk, the way one ‘chops’ or ‘makes it’ down the street.

2. (US) pretentious, insincere, phoney, hypocritical etc. [fig. use of sense 1 above].

[US]A. Baraka in Tales (1969) 89: OK, be intellectual, go write some more of them jivey books.
M.J. Bosse Incident at Naha 85: I’m not sure I would have accepted that sort of jivey explanation, but Mrs. Halliday did .
posting at George Carlin BBS 24 Apr. [Internet] Talkin’ jivey poison Ivy, you ain’t gonna cling to me. Man taker, born faker, I ain’t so blind I can’t see.
posting at [Internet] Jivey lingo is like, um, weird ways you say stuff, like calling a cigarette a faggot. Yeah.

In compounds

jive hand (n.) [SE hand, the cards that one has been dealt]

(US black) an undesirable situation that puts one person at an unfair disadvantage, one is dealt ‘a bad hand’.

[US]R. Klein Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].
jivetime (adj.) [jive n.1 (2) + ? pun on the radio daypart drivetime]

(US black) insincere, dishonest, stupid.

[US](con. 1940s) H. Simmons Man Walking On Eggshells 114: If any of them ole jive-time Lomas had messed with her I’d kicked their ass myself.
[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 70: jivetime adj. 1. insincere; not serious [...] 2. dishonest; deceptive: a jivetime dude. 3. ignorant; dull-witted.
[US]O. Hawkins Chili 11: All the jive time games and effervescent bullshit.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 63: What would we do without jive? Attach it to hand-, -talkin, -turkey, -time, -ass, and a slew of others.
jive turkey (n.) [turkey n.1 (4a)]

(US black) an insincere, deceitful, dishonest person.

[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 118: Take that, you jive turkey!
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 43: Jive turkey [...] refer[s] to the talker who bounces the conversational ball off the wall [...] or who demonstrates ignorance about the subject being discussed.
[US](con. 1986) G. Pelecanos Sweet Forever 205: You don’t mind if I take this jive turkey, do ya, Jim?
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 63: What would we do without jive? Attach it to hand-, -talkin, -turkey, -time, -ass, and a slew of others.