1. (US black) sexual intercourse, also a sex partner.
|Walls Of Jericho 54: Figgerin’ on a jive already – the doggone dickty hound.|
|🎵 Solid M-O, man, but that’s the last time for that jive.‘For the Last Time I Cried Over You’|
|Third Ear n.p.: jive n. […] 6. a man with many girlfriends.|
2. (orig. US black) nonsense, rubbish, insincere, deceitful or pretentious talk [note Burley, Orig. Handbook of Harlem Jive (1944): ‘Jive is a distortion of that staid, old, respectable English word “jibe” — jibber — speak fast and inarticulately, chatter [...] Jibberish — unintelligible speech, meaningless sounds, jargon, blundering or ungrammatical talk’; he dates it to Chicago, 1921; Mezzrow & Wolfe, Really the Blues (1946): ‘The word jive probably comes from the old English word jibe, out of which came the words jibberish and gibberish, describing sound without meaning, speech that isn’t intelligible’; Mezzrow further suggests, quoting black journalist Earl Conrad, that ‘Jive talk may have been originally a kind of “pig Latin” that the slaves talked with each other, a code – when they were in the presence of whites’. Note that jive, swing music is SE].
|🎵 Well, you’ll never do nothing like that to me! / I can’t stand that kind of a jive!‘Hannah Fell in Love with my Piano’|
|Walls Of Jericho 94: Judge. Humph. So that was his jive. Huh. Judge. [Ibid.] 301: jive: pursuit in love or any device thereof. Usually flattery with intent to win [...] this word implies [...] deceit.|
|[song title] Don’t Try Your Jive on Me.|
|Really the Blues 37: I used to hear a lot of medical jive when I apprenticed in my uncle’s drugstore.|
|letter 28 Apr. in Charters II (1999) 29: And of course Ed I visited Notre Dame, Montmartre, etc. all that jive.|
|Mama Black Widow 156: Mama, yu oughta stop talkin thet junky jive.|
|S.R.O. (1998) 58: ‘I let her stay temporarily, but she keeps on with her jive and so I decide to teach her something’.|
|(con. 1960s) Spend, Spend, Spend (1978) 87: They were giving us all that jive.|
|Godson 328: ‘Hail Mary and all that jive’.|
|🎵 But he drug his ass back to the jungle more dead than alive. / Just to run into that little monkey and some more of his signifying jive!‘Signifyin’ Monkey’|
|Pugilist at Rest 34: Just a lot of Mickey Mouse jive – push-ups and forced marches.|
|Night Gardener 247: Some kind of jive about insubordination.|
3. (US) Afro-American slang, esp. as coined in Harlem and thence used by jazz musicians; also attrib.
|N.Y. Amsterdam News 15 Jan. 17/2: Listen to the typewriter translate the jive of the avenue into swing talk on paper.|
|N.Y. Amsterdam News 26 Oct. 20: [G]iving me a pat on the back as being ‘America’s leading jive writer’.|
|Really the Blues 220: Jive [...] is not only a strange linguistic mixture of dream and deed; it’s a whole new attitude to life.|
|Iron City 25: Zach here don’t know that jailhouse jive.|
|Chosen Few (1966) 32: He talks a lot of jive and keeps a bunch a’ broads runnin’ after him on liberty.|
|🎵 I come in from Memphis / where I learned to talk the jive.‘Candy Man’|
|Flyboy in the Buttermilk (1992) 94: Walking that razor’s edge between go-go jive and rap’s flip side.‘Ramm-El-Zee vs. K-Rob’ in|
|Crackhouse 17: Surrounded by the sounds of jive-talking rappers from radios, kids hollering out the rules of street games.|
|(con. 1964–8) Cold Six Thousand 91: Shouts overlapped [...] some nuggets in rebop and jive.|
|IOL News (Western Cape) 18 Oct. 🌐 When flight attendants were unable to communicate with a pair of jive-talking hipsters, Billingsley’s character volunteered o translate, saying, ‘I talk jive’.|
4. (US) any thing, stuff, goings-on, situation.
|‘Sl. among Nebraska Negroes’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 317/1: Hip me to the jive! and lace my boots! mean ‘put me wise’. Thus to be hipped or to have one’s boots laced is to be aware of a situation.|
|N.Y. Amsterdam News 7 Dec. 20: That mink jive she was laying was worth a solid G and a half.|
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 17: The banter laid her stealers on her flappers, and booted her to the jive that the skull was trying to drop a hype on her.|
|Jungle Kids (1967) 32: How goes it, man. Give us all the cool jive, mister.‘Vicious Circle’|
|Harlem, USA (1971) 349: Man, cool your role [...] Like I said, the jive is on.‘Some Get Wasted’ in Clarke|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 123: Now them old broads will come in, in them old friggish teddies, and start doin’ the mess around— / that’s the jive in the landladies con game to tear your bankroll down.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 11 Sept. 51: I’d always been a sucker for that kind of jive.|
|(con. 1985–90) In Search of Respect 143: The cultural clash between white ‘yuppie’ power and inner-city ‘scrambling jive’ in the service sector is much more than superficial style.|
5. in drug uses.
|[song title] Here Comes The Man With The Jive.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|(con. 1948) Flee the Angry Strangers 29: I like to smoke jive. You can keep reality.|
|‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2.|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jive — Marijuana.|
(b) (drugs) heroin; also attrib.
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 174: It is little wonder the youngsters escape in the cellar clubs [...] and ‘jive joints,’ which are their only sources of amusement.|
|Corner Boy 46: What started you on the jive?|
|Real Bohemia 58: Heroin [...] is the drug of many aliases: ‘horse, H, schmeck, junk, jazz, jive’.|
|Street Players 147: I had some bomb stuff. Some sure-nuff good jive.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jive — [...] heroin.|
(c) recreational drugs in general; also attrib.
|Vice Trap 38: Shirley gave one of her jive parties.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jive — [...] drugs.|
6. a second-rate person.
|Seize the Time 141: The dudes [...] were just jives, [...] we’re just going to have to get uptight on them.|
7. one’s personality or material possessions.
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 98: Now if you people will be cooperative and give me a helping hand, / we can soon have all this jive in my moving van.|
|Third Ear n.p.: jive n. [...] 3. one’s personality or belongings; e.g. You better get your jive together.|
8. a proposition, a suggestion.
|‘A Pimp Toast’ in(1972) 289: Well, I know you can take some jive.|
(orig. US black) a pretentious person.
|Down Beat’s Yearbook of Swing n.p.: jive artist: an elegant nothing; a ham who sells out.|
(US teen) a juke box.
|Baltimore Sun 22 June Magazine 6/5: Jive hive . . . juke box.|
(US drugs) the equipment – needle, spoon, eye-dropper, cotton – used for taking narcotics.
|Teen-Age Mafia 120: The jive kit was on the dresser, but no sign of a deck or a cap.|
(US campus) slang .
|Asbury Park Press (NJ) 15 Mar. 6/3: At the University of Nevada [...] ‘Jive rattle’ is bop talk.|
(drugs) a marijuana cigarette.
|AS XXX:2 87: JIVE STICK, n. A marijuana cigarette.‘Narcotic Argot Along the Mexican Border’ in|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
|ONDCP Street Terms 13: Jive stick — Marijuana.|
see separate entries.
(US black) to understand every aspect of a situation.
|Hi De Ho 16: Do you collar this jive?|
|Jive and Sl.|
|,||(ref. to 1935) DAS.|
|Straight Outta Compton 24: Flip knew that Clive-nem were starting to collar the jive, so he told us his story.|
(US black) to play the piano.
|Jive and Sl.|
1. (US) honestly, no fooling.
|AS XII:1 47: The action of this trumpet really sends me and that’s no jive.‘A Musician’s Word List’ in|
|N.Y. Age 16 Dec. 10/1: C.A.’s heart really belongs to Daddy; no jive, I really mean it.|
|Really the Blues 164: The weed was the only thing that kept us going, no jive.|
|N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 June 14: ‘I’ll tell you now and it’s no jive, to dance with me will cost you five’.|
|Tattoo the Wicked Cross (1981) 189: Carmen Cavallero is a bitch on the piano, Aaron. No jive.|
|‘Sl. of Watts’ in Current Sl. III:2 35: No jibe, exclam. No joke [...] No jive, exclam. No joke.|
|Airtight Willie and Me 195: I’m gonna cut her loose for you. No jive.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|Psychotic Reactions (1988) 55: This was a no-jive, take-care-of-business band.in|
(US Black) to act in a manner that amuses others.
|Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 29 Oct. 11/1: Harlem Dictionary [...] Mugging. Making ’em laugh, putting on the jive.|
(US) to gossip, talk inconsequentially.
|I Paid My Dues 96: He could now lounge in the bars shooting the jive with his colleagues.|
(US black) general phr. of greeting.
|Pitsburgh Courier (PA) 22 Aug. 7/7: What’s the jive? — what’s the news.|
see what’s your tale? under tale n.1