Gif Pronunciation (As in the image format)

I’ve heard the word “Gif” pronounced two ways, and I was wondering which is correct. In the event that both are, which is the more widely used? The only difference is in their pronunciation of the “g” (The “G” either sounds like the “G” in “give” or the “G” in “gender”). I hope this makes sense as I conveyed it best I could.

I say GIF, not JIF.

I also say Lih-nux, not Lie-nux.

But I hear people say them both ways all the time, so I’m not sure there’s a factual answer of correct pronunciation.

Than’s Elusis, but I just found the answer.

Turns out I was right as I’ve always pronounced it as “Jif” (Soft G). Feels good to be right :wink:


I’ve heard it both ways myself, but the hard ‘G’ is the one I hear most often (and use myself). Pronouncing ‘gif’ with a soft ‘G’ sounds too much like a brand name of peanut butter for my taste.

I’m pretty sure both pronounciations are acceptable, though.


Choosy Perverts Choose GIF.

(Especially since that damned patent expired.)

(PNG’s still better. ;))


I might add that, while the creators of the GIF format (as indicated in the link above) may very well have inteded it to be pronounced as the peanut butter brand, there also exists a different graphical image format called JIF, which I think may lead to much undue confusion.


That’s funny, because I’m a Mac user & way back when I was told Mac users preferred “jiff” (you know, as in “choosy computer users choose…”) and Windows users preferred the hard “g.” But I’m also glad I’ve been pronouncing it right all this time.

They’re both valid pronunciations. The word is now beyond the scope of its creators, and any unilateral control they may have once held over its pronunciation has been lost.

Anyway, “jiff” sounds funny.

Besides, GIF stands for “Graphic Interchange Format”. Since “graphic” starts with a hard G, it seems only natural to pronounce GIF with a hard G as well. Now, if it stood for “Giraffe Interchange Format”, that’d be a whole 'nother thing…

Max Torque, although I agree with your reasoning, the folks at Compuserve (who invented the format) always insisted that it was to be promounced with a soft G (“jif”). My comment at the time that it should then be referred to as the “Giraffics Interchange Format” didn’t go very far <g>.