Jist or Gist – Which Spelling is Correct?

enhancedwriting/ August 17, 2017/ Uncategorized

jist versus gist

What’s the Difference Between Gist and Jist?

This is a bit of a trick question because jist is actually not a word at all. It is just a common misspelling of the word gist.

Gist is a noun that means the main idea or the important part of a matter.

  • I don’t need to know the whole story. Just tell me the gist.

Jist is a typical spelling error which replaces the g in gist with a j. Some people get confused with this spelling because gist has a soft g sound, which is the same as a j sound.

  • She read her classmate’s notes to get the jist of what the class had been about. (incorrect spelling)

Despite the fact that jist is common, it is still an error, and you should take care to avoid it.

Now, let’s go over a few ways to use these words correctly.

Using Gist in a Sentence

When to use gist: Gist refers to the essential part of an issue or matter.

For example,

  • He doesn’t read any newspapers. Rather, he simply browses social media to get the gist of current events.
  • He wasn’t listening very carefully, but he was still able to understand the gist of the conversation.

There are not any idioms with the word gist. However, some common collocations include the gist of an article, story, argument, or conversation.

Using Jist in a Sentence

When to use jist: The short answer about when to use jist is easy: don’t use it at all. It’s not a real word. It’s a misspelling of gist.

However, you should still be aware that if you do see it in print, the person using it meant to use gist. Therefore, the meaning is the same as gist, the important, main idea of something.

For example,

  • I don’t know exactly what happened during the fight, but the jist [read gist] of the argument was that one brother broke the other’s Nintendo. (wrong spelling)
  • I don’t care about the details! The jist [read gist] of the matter is that you lied to me and cheated on me! (wrong spelling)

In short, eliminate this spelling from your vocabulary entirely.

Remembering Gist vs. Jist

There are two easy ways to remember which word to use and when.

First, gist starts with the letter g, just like the word good. It is good to spell gist with a g because this is the correct spelling.

Second, jist starts with the letter j, just like the word junky. Spelling the word gist with a j is junky because it is incorrect.

If junky is too hard for you to remember, you can remember the word joke. If you spell gist as jist, people might make a joke about your spelling error.

Outside Examples

  • The gist here is that Social Security is a foundational program for low-income and some middle-income retirees. It’s not meant to be a piggy bank for the wealthy. –USA Today
  • Typically, the gist of conversations among leaders and their top advisers is captured in specialized documents that are kept for the record — Memorandums of Conversations (MemCons). Just as journalists love scoops, scholars love to be the first to unearth a high-level MemCon among leaders and their top advisers. –The Washington Post
  • Officially, New York is staying as vague as possible. Here’s the jist of what the Mets are saying, via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo: Matt Harvey has been suspended for three days without pay for violation of club rules. He has been sent home. Adam Wilk starts today. –Yahoo Sports (incorrect spelling)
  • “In small counties, the county judge serves multiple roles. The judge not only has his judge responsibilities but those of emergency coordinator. He also handles all the probates and misdemeanor cases so he needs a certain level of staffing, funding and space,” Combs said. “The gist of this is the judge’s belief that the county commissioners have taken actions to make it a lot harder for him to do the job for which he is elected.” –Houston Chronicle

Quiz: Jist vs. Gist

Instructions: Fill in the blanks with the correct word, either jist or gist.

  • Although she had never seen the movie, she knew the _____________ of the plot because of pop culture references. (correct spelling)
  • He wasn’t listening carefully to the teacher’s lecture, yet he still got the ____________. (incorrect spelling)
  • I didn’t understand the poem at all. I didn’t even get the ___________ of it. (correct spelling)
  • I don’t need or want to know every minor piece of information from the book’s plot. Just give me the ____________. (incorrect spelling)

See answers below.

Article Summary

Should I use gist or jist? One of these words is not a real word at all. Jist is simply the incorrect spelling of gist.

  • Gist is the correct spelling.
  • Jist is a spelling error.

Make sure to avoid spelling gist with a j to ensure error free writing.


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