Online Gaming Pronunciation Guide

I've been playing some online games recently -- sometimes with friends, sometimes joining public servers on the internet. I've played online games on and off for a long time (since Doom), and a few words are often mispronounced so I thought I'd help clarify the scene.

1. Mispronunciation of the word "gib."

Just like "GIF" (the file format) is pronounced with a soft "g" (as jif), gib is pronounced to sound like "jib." Before I get flamed on either, it's often acceptable to use either pronounciation on GIF; however, the original documentation notes that "jif" is the correct pronunciation ( Bob Berry, one of creators of the GIF format, has said, "GIF has always been pronounced "jif", since it was first released in 1987."

Now onto gib. In case you didn't know, gib first appeared in either Doom or Quake I as a way to describe a rather graphic kill in the game when the resulting body parts exploded all over the place, like giblets. It's true that gib's origins are from the word giblet, pronounced with a hard-g; however, gib, a word created by id software has always been "jib" when spoken in the vernacular. Here's a quote from Adrian Carmack:

"Gib is short for giblet. Giblets are guts of a chicken. I first heard a friend of mine use the term. Once I started working at id, I would call the guts I drew gibs."

Another quote from the same author:

"As far as I know, the word 'gib' was invented here at id during the Doom days. At first it was how we referred to the little chunks of meat that we left laying around the level in order to add atmosphere to a level. The editor included all types of 'Gib.' The editor entities were created by John Carmack and John Romero. I am pretty sure that Romero was the inventor of the word, and I know for a fact that he (and everyone else at id) pronounces it 'Jib,' not 'Gib.'

When Christian started working here he would say 'Gib.' After much beating and torture I have convinced him that he was wrong. If you find yourself having a hard time saying 'Jib' then please whack yourself in the head a few times and try again."

2. Mispronunciation of the word "id" in id software.

id sofware (pioneer in the gaming industry) is pronounced "id," not "eye dee." While the company started out as "ID Sofware" (short for In Demand), they later changed the name to id software. id, always with a lowercase i, is defined as, "one of the three divisions of the psyche." Anyone who took psych 101 knows that :)

3. OK, not completely gaming related, but similar to gib: How to pronounce Linux?

I agree there's at least two camps on this one, half thinking it's "line-ex" and the other "linnex." I always pronouced it the latter, however, I set out to find an answer. Even now, I'm not wholly convinced, but there comes a point when you must mentally commit to one pronunciation. As with Gib -- being defined by the inventor -- it turns out the canonically correct pronunciation is "linnex."

This information can be found at, and Linus Torvalds' (Linux inventor) own pronunciation can be heard in this WAV file: linux.wav (82k)

Comments (2) -

Michael K. Campbell
Michael K. Campbell
11/15/2004 6:27:33 AM #

Funny how nobody seems to have a problem with fragged.

And are you saving pwned for a later post ;)

11/18/2004 1:56:38 AM #

Yeah, I need to study up on my l33l sp3ak before I could sound authoritative on the subject Smile

Comments are closed

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