Counting both noun and verb forms, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) lists and defines thirteen separate ‘gigs’. 

‘A flighty, giddy girl’ was where it all started and then ‘spin’, ‘whirl’, ‘whirligig’, ‘fool’, giggle and ‘joke’ are all in one way or associated with the word. Even when you get up to the 18th century where it meant ‘light one-horse carriage’, its origin might be ..

perhaps based on the ‘bouncing, whirling’ sense of the earlier ‘gig’.

Until recently, most of us would primarily have associated ‘gig’ with the music industry and even today young struggling bands are delighted (initially) to get their ‘first gig’. In this sense, we have two possible origins;

  • ‘a gambling bet’ (possibly from the use of a spinning wheel in some original ‘gig’ game), which then was generalized to mean ‘a business undertaking’ and then applied to a musical performance.
  • the musical engagement sense to the original ‘spinning’ meaning of the word, perhaps influenced by the Old French ‘gigue’, meaning ‘dance’. which also gave us ‘jig’.

The word in this context dates back to 1926 … and this makes for a good little read if you want a more thorough and entertaining overview of the myriad meanings and learn where some of this research came from.

But when did the gig we know today come from?

That dates just back to 2009. And to me it continues to honor the light, flighty, gaming/gambling origins of the word. So let’s stop using it and call it what it is. Exploitation? Slavery? After all they shoot horses, don’t they?

[ Image by John Hain from Pixabay ]

Delighted to report that this one – FINALLY – hit a chord. Not just a small chord – put a very large sonorous one. Ok – some of the chords were – well – dischordant … if you will pardon the extension of the musical metaphor. But really – isn’t that what it is all about. Dialogue! It’s just great to see responses. it means people are really reading and taking things to heart.

Click through, read on and comment back. I want to hear. And once the excitement has died down I wil be sure to do a follow up.

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Nick Hanauer – Rebel VC?

A Ted Talk from Nick Hanauer – rebel VC … if that isn’t an oxymoron!

Interesting that he concludes his talk with 5 rules of thumb behind ‘the new economics’ that answers the question. Intersting because all 5 are some of the building bricks (tenets) of the Pillars of the People First Business Equaiton.

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Guernica – Picasso – 1937

Did John Lyndon Hate The Floyd?

Is Pink Floyd a punk band?

Are people really surprised when Roger Waters delivers protest?

Why is the film not Called ‘Us and Them’?

All this and more in this week’s newsletter.

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‘Real Stories | Real People’ is a new occasional series that will start to appear on this blog in the not too distant future. But that’s not the point of the newsletter. The point was first to share the story of Richard Montañez.

The second was to ask you to think about success. What is it. And more importantly – is it uner your control. It isn’t as clear cut as you might think.

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If you want to keep abreast with People First developments, share your best email with us and it will be done.