I have heard people say, "It's your gig" when they intend to say, "It's your choice after all." For example:

I have said all I wanted to say. Now it's your gig.

The intention is that the listener is the one who has to decide then.

What does "gig" mean here? Gig seems to have multiple meanings in dictionaries but I am unable to find what fits well in this phrase. Also, does "It's your gig" have any history or specific etymology?

  • Please can you give more context for the utterance? Also, have you looked up gig in a dictionary? What has that told you? Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 12:06
  • Acc. to dictionaries, gig may mean: two-wheeled carriage, light boat, spear for fishing, Gigabyte or a booking for musicians. Phew!
    – Bravo
    Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 12:09
  • The context is this: on a couple of occasions I have heard people say something to the tune of, "I have said all I wanted to say. Now it's your gig." The intention is that the listener is the one who has to decide then.
    – Bravo
    Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 12:11
  • Gig: a job, especially one that is temporary or that has an uncertain future. "he secured his first gig as an NFL coach"
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 1:26

4 Answers 4


It's an extension from it's your call/show/shout/turn, where gig alludes to the now-popular sense of a live performance by or engagement for a musician or group playing popular or jazz music.

Probably in many contexts your gig could be replaced by your turn [to perform now], but it's also used in the call sense (i.e. - as you're the "star of the show", you have free choice over the details).

  • 1
    I feel like it means "now you're in charge" more often than "now it's your turn" Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 23:15
  • @Timothy Jones: Agreed. It's not particularly common anyway - just a couple of dozen instances on Google in total for "Well it's your gig" plus "But it's your gig". There'd be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, for both those forms with "choice". I certainly don't see anything in the few hits for "your gig" suggesting anything to do with getting a job (except when it's musicians talking literally). Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 23:33

Gig has often meant gigs for musicians, as Shyam said. However, it has today evolved to slang for almost any kind of job or reservation on your time. From this context, "it's your gig" could be a congratulatory remark saying that you got the job, or it may simply signify or reiterate your ownership of the said job.


Back in the 60's we used it as a slang to describe anything from a party to a single performance attended by others, i.e., Hey man it's your gig.


Gigs, are small wooden water crafts that have a coxswain and varied numbers of oars depending on the size of the boat.

Their purpose was to act as transport for crew of ships that were anchored outside of the harbor. They were designed for speed because the boat that got to the larger ships first, got the job. Hence, "It's your gig."

Merriam-Webster has this to say:

Gig (Noun)

3a : a long light ship's boat

3b : a rowboat designed for speed rather than for work

Wikipedia on the (Cornish pilot) gig.

The Cornish pilot gig is a six-oared rowing boat, built of Cornish narrow leaf elm, 32 feet (9.8 m) long with a beam of 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m). It is recognised as one of the first shore-based lifeboats that went to vessels in distress, with recorded rescues going back as far as the late 17th century. The original purpose of the Cornish pilot gig was as a general work boat, and the craft is used for taking pilots out to incoming vessels (see pilot boat) off the Atlantic. At the time, the gigs would race to get their pilot on board a vessel first (often those about to run aground on rocks) in order to get the job and hence the payment.

  • 1
    Do you have a source for this? This is an interesting etymology, but with nothing to back it up it feels lacking. Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 7:43
  • I've updated the answer with some minor support; however, the reasoning still feels lacking. Further support would not be remiss, not that I expect anyone to do so for a 3+ year old answer. Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 4:35

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