A gib is a colloquial term for a chunk of flesh, usually one that has recently been liberated from its owner by explosive force. The noun later became a verb when Quake and its sequels (and, for a time, pretty much every subsequent first person shooter) allowed players to get blown into chunky salsa pieces.

The term was coined almost accidentally when one of the artists working on Doom named the graphic files of some sprites of dismembered chunks as 'GIBn', short for 'Giblets'. The term was first used in the playable portion of a game in Rise of the Triad (which included a mode called 'Ludicrous Gibs'). In Id Software games from Doom onwards, killing an enemy or character with a blow that is sufficiently greater in damage points than the target's health results in them exploding into gibs. Gibbing can therefore be executed with any weapon that can strike a powerful enough single blow (therefore if the Quad Damage power-up is collected, even the weakest of weapons may be able to gib someone).

Although Doom's gibs were limited to a fixed sequence of two dimensional frames for each enemy, Quake made the individual pieces out of polygons that trailed particles of blood as they tumbled through the air (often with a unique piece for the head, complete with surprised expression). Quake 2 added the effect of the gibs being blown in the direction away from the explosion. Quake III Arena included recognisable gibs for most body parts, including a seperate skull, ribcage, brain and jawbone.

'Gib' is officially pronounced with a hard 'G' as in 'giraffe', although occasionally it is heard spoken with a soft 'G' as in Maurice Gibb, due to the speaker having learnt of the term from reading it online.

Saving Private Ryan contains a good gibbing during a climactic scene.

Quake: Terminology

This is an unnecessary special effect that occurs when players instantaneously absorbs far more damage than is necessary to kill them (read: excessive). Because Quake is such a realistic physics engine and knows that the energy of a system much be accounted for at all times, it channels all the additional damage energy into blowing the body into a variety of meaty chunks.

These are gibs.

Both a noun and a verb - to blow someone into gibs, there are a variety of spinoffs: gibbage, gibb, gibber, etc. Pronounced jib, and does indeed originate from giblet - pronunciation and origins are confirmed by id. Originally this came from Doom (although I believe you could gib in Wolfenstein this wasn't yet a term).

Keep in mind that the following information is Quake pertinent only: Gibs come in packs of 3, with a head tossed in as well. While flying through the air they spray blood everywhere.

Here's the science behind it!

The victim, upon being killed, must have less than -40 health. ie, if you have a rocket launcher and you score a direct hit on someone with 50 health, you do 120 damage taking their health to -70. They have been gibbed. The total damage applied must occur simultaneously. In the original Quake you cannot kill someone and then axe, rocket or shaft their intact body to turn it into chunks (this 'oversight' was corrected in some custom mods as well as Quake 2 and Quake 3)

For even more spectacular effects, gibs don't just drop to the floor. If you've done enough damage you can blow someone to all n corners of the room. The speed (if any) of a paritcular gib is calculated thus:

x/y components of velocity are randomly calculated between -100 and 100, while the z-component is calculated betweeen 200 to 300. They are then multiplied by some factor which depends on the health:

  • -40 to -49 health - 0.7, usually a super shotgun blast to a low health person, who turns into a meaty pile.
  • -50 to -199 health - 2, your most common rocket launcher gib, and occasional Quad Damage (super) shotgun/super nailgun frag, making a healthy meaty red splatter.
  • -200 onwards health - 10 (yes, that's 10). What can I say? Quad rockets hurt. Get out the carpet cleaner doris we got some cleanup to do.

    Part of the Quake metanode

  • GFR = G = GIFs at 11

    gib /jib/

    1. vi. To destroy utterly. Like frag, but much more violent and final. "There's no trace left. You definitely gibbed that bug". 2. n. Remnants after total obliteration.

    Originated first by id software in the game Quake. It's short for giblets (thus pronounced "jib"), and referred to the bloody remains of slain opponents. Eventually the word was verbed, and leaked into general usage afterward.

    --The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

    Gib (?), n. [Abbreviated fr. Gilbert, the name of the cat in the old story of "Reynard the Fox". in the "Romaunt of the Rose", etc.]

    A male cat; a tomcat.



    © Webster 1913.

    Gib, v. i.

    To act like a cat.


    Beau. & Fl.


    © Webster 1913.

    Gib (?), n. [Etymol. uncertain.]

    A piece or slip of metal or wood, notched or otherwise, in a machine or structure, to hold other parts in place or bind them together, or to afford a bearing surface; -- usually held or adjusted by means of a wedge, key, or screw.

    Gib and key, ∨ Gib and cotter Steam Engine, the fixed wedge or gib, and the driving wedge,key, or cotter, used for tightening the strap which holds the brasses at the end of a connecting rod.


    © Webster 1913.

    Gib, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Gibbed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Gibbing.]

    To secure or fasten with a gib, or gibs; to provide with a gib, or gibs.

    Gibbed lathe, an engine lathe in which the tool carriage is held down to the bed by a gib instead of by a weight.


    © Webster 1913.

    Gib (?), v. i.

    To balk. See Jib, v. i.



    © Webster 1913.

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