How to Pronounce Gif in English

Have you ever wondered how to pronounce “gif,”? In this article, we’ll break down the pronunciation of this word, discuss its meaning, explore its history, and provide examples of when to use it.

how to pronounce gif

How to Pronounce gif

The word “gif” is pronounced as “jif,” just like the peanut butter brand. It’s not “gift” without the “t” or “giff” with a hard “g” sound.

The debate over its pronunciation has been ongoing for years, but the creators of the format themselves say it’s “jif.”


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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As a noun, “gif” refers to a type of image file format. It stands for “Graphics Interchange Format.” Gifs are widely used on the internet to display short, looped animations or sequences of images. They are a fun way to share reactions, emotions, or moments in a brief, entertaining manner.


As a verb, “gif” means to create or share an animated image in the gif format. For example, you might say, “I’m going to gif that hilarious moment from the video.” So, when you “gif” something, you’re turning it into a gif file for sharing.

What Does gif Mean?

The term “gif” primarily refers to a specific image format. It’s a popular choice for sharing short, looping animations on the internet.

Gifs have become a common language for expressing emotions, reactions, or funny moments in online conversations.

The History of the Word

The word “gif” was coined back in 1987 when the format was created by Steve Wilhite and his team at CompuServe. The pronunciation “jif” was suggested by Steve himself, and it’s based on the brand name of a popular peanut butter, Jif.

The intention was to emphasize the soft “g” sound, similar to the “g” in “jelly.” However, this pronunciation sparked debates and discussions over the years, with some preferring the hard “g” sound.

When to Use gif

Gifs are perfect for various online situations, including:

  1. Reactions: Use gifs to express your feelings or reactions when texting or chatting online. For example, you can send a gif of applause to show your appreciation.
  2. Humor: Gifs are fantastic for adding humor to your messages. A well-timed gif can turn an ordinary conversation into a hilarious one.
  3. Explanations: Sometimes, a gif can explain something better than words. If you want to show someone how to perform a particular task, a gif can simplify the process.
  4. Memes: Many internet memes are in gif format. Sharing meme gifs is a great way to participate in online humor and trends.

Examples of the Word in Context

  1. Text Conversation:
    • Person A: “I aced my exam!”
    • Person B: Sends a gif of someone doing a victory dance.
  2. Meme Sharing:
    • Social Media Post: “When it’s finally Friday!”
    • Accompanied by a gif of a dancing cat.
  3. Reaction in a Forum:
    • User 1: “That movie’s ending was so surprising!”
    • User 2: Responds with a gif of a shocked face.


The pronunciation of “gif” is “jif,” as advocated by its creators. Whether you use it as a noun to refer to a file format or as a verb to create and share animated images, gifs have become an integral part of online communication.

Cite this entry: “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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