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In the latest episode of Succession, they are talking about potential candidates and we know there is a guy called Salgado (I don't remember a prior implication that Salgado is racist but he is not white white as can be deducted from the last name) and this conversation happens:

Tom: But I also jibe with Salgado.

Shiv: Oh, you "jibe" with him? Pretty sure that's racist, Tom.

Could anyone explain why it could be racist? I thought "jibe with" only means he agrees with his views or something.

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  • @Cascabel Okay thanks and I searched for it and maybe because I am not a native, I still don't get it. Sounds like jive is something to do with African Americans, but this guy is maybe Latin American? Nov 23, 2021 at 13:17
  • I'll write an answer, but will probably get hit for it. Nov 23, 2021 at 13:28
  • @Cascabel What worries me is that 'I'm not going to post a real answer on this because I think it is searchable' doesn't warrant a CV on 'no readily available research shown'. No caveats advising caution in major dictionaries. And any word can be touted as a candidate for being taboo. Nov 23, 2021 at 17:39
  • @EdwinAshworth Hi Edwin. I did not VTC, and actually did post an answer...(the CV is not mine.) Gonna delete that comment...that said, I think when a search is done on jibe, the topic of the confuseables usually pops up. Nice to hear from you again. Nov 23, 2021 at 17:42
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    @successionfang, and why would Salgado's last name lead to deducing he's not white? The surname is of Portuguese or Galician origin, both in the west of continental Europe. See census.gov/topics/population/race/about.html for the official American take on race.
    – RicardoGMC
    Nov 24, 2021 at 11:52

2 Answers 2

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Jibe means "to be in agreement with".

Jive is a verb to describe a silly (or mendacious) way of talking or less often, a frenetic form of dancing. The usage has its roots in 1930s African-American music.

...and as well there is gibe, which means to taunt or tease.

They are sometimes called confusables, or eggcorns.

Your protagonist was making a rather bad play on the words.

Please note that the phrase "shuck and jive" has been used in the past to describe evasive behavior. Having its origin in African-American speech, it might be perceived as racist when culturally misappropriated by white authority figures such as police.

See Merriam Webster for further information.

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  • 'to jibe' (or BrE 'gybe') is also a sailing term, meaning to turn 'through' the wind. 'Jive Talking' is a song by the BeeGees, which sounds like it's about lying. The movie 'Airport' included a scene of an old white lady speaking presumably AAVE to some African American passengers and translating for the white people. But originally it was more like talking cap.
    – Mitch
    Nov 23, 2021 at 13:52
  • That it was used for both 'AAVE' in general, and a slangy term for 'lying' is a bit disparaging.
    – Mitch
    Nov 23, 2021 at 13:53
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    Hi Cascabel, just adding extra details to what I think is the right answer.
    – Mitch
    Nov 23, 2021 at 13:54
  • Thanx @Mitch...much appreciated. Nov 23, 2021 at 13:54
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    @Edwin You gotta get off the schtick, man. DVing an answer to a borderline question so to punish the user is becoming very tiresome. The question is valid. Nov 23, 2021 at 18:26
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Tom: But I also jibe with Salgado.

Shiv: Oh, you "jibe" with him? Pretty sure that's racist, Tom.

Shiv seems to be joking here.

If Salgado is Spanish, he, along with a lot of other Spanish speakers, will stereotypically pronounce "v" as "b".

Thus "jibe" can be understood as the imitation of Spanish speaker attempting to say "jive".

Thus "But I also jibe with Salgado." can be understood as a Spanish speaker's pronunciation of "But I also jive with Salgado."

(Both sentences are possible.)

Hence, Shiv: Oh, you "jibe" with him? Pretty sure that's racist, Tom.

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