How do YOU pronounce GIF?

GIF? That’s so 2012.

I usually hear it as Jiff.

Who has ever said it aloud in a conversation? I know what it means when I see it.

Back in Compuserve days, it was “jif.” I am a hidebound old mossback and am unlikely to change my habits at this late juncture.

Hard g, for sandra_nz’s reason. I understand the creator’s pronunciation. Gee-eye-eff ==> Gee-iff ==> jif. But I prefer the graphics hard-g option. I think most people don’t know what gif stands for, and read it in isolation. Seen as a word, the usual pronunciation of that string of letters is with a hard g.

That’s true for words with a Germanic origin like “gift” or “girdle”, but not for words with a French or Italian origin like “giant” or “giraffe”. I don’t know which type predominates in English.

I say it with a hard G.

Partly because I mentally group it with words like “gift”, “give”, “git”, “gill”, “giddy”, “gird”, “giggle”, “gimlet”, “gizmo”, and “gidget”, rather than “gin”, “ginger”, “gist”, and “gibberish”. (I’m having an easier time coming up with more hard G words, but there’s certainly no shortage of either in English.)

But mostly because I’ve never heard anyone in real life pronounce it with a soft G.

Yes yes and yes.

This. Also, it seems to me that computer graphic nerds are more likely to say Jif.

English is a Germanic language.


Well, yes, originally, but after the Norman conquest, it was inundated with French vocabulary.

It’s true that English borrowed heavily from French; but English is still Germanic in structure and pronunciation. For example, we say BUTT-on instead of boo-TONN. So it’s natural to default to the Germanic pronunciation.

Like that.

From the Oxford American Dictionary:
GIF may be pronounced with either a soft g (as in giant) or a hard g (as in graphic). The programmers who developed the format preferred a pronunciation with a soft g (in homage to the commercial tagline of the peanut butter brand Jif, they supposedly quipped “choosy developers choose GIF”). However, the pronunciation with a hard g is now very widespread and readily understood. Whichever pronunciation you use, it should of course be the same for both the noun and the verb.

All of us are right! (Unless, of course, you pronounce it with a long I)

We could go with French and pronounce it zheef.

Yes, but not all of its words are of Germanic origin.

I say “gif,” hard G, on the analogy of “gift,” the only other common g-i-f word in English. But I also say “beummeup” for .bmp, which I’ve also never heard spoken.

Like “gift” without the T. And this is the correct pronunciation because it is how I pronounce it.

‘Target’ is from French, but most English-speakers don’t pronounce it ‘tar-ZHAY’.

Jif, or JEE-AYE-EF.

Au contraire, mon frere. All my smart-ass friend back in Texas would say they were going to tar-ZHAY when they went to Target.