I like the cut of your jib is an idiomatic expression, coming from the naval past of the English language.
It is a phrase that points to the fact, that someone likes one’s general appearance, behavior or style.
“I like the cut of your jib” comes from the 16th to 17th century sailor lingo, when a jib was the first thing a spotter would look at.
A jib is a triangular sail that would allude to the nationality, direction as well as the speed of a far off ship.
A “cut of jib” could help deduce if a ship is friend or foe, and this fact stuck with English speakers.
The expression would start to see idiomatic use during the early 1800’s, all over the Anglosphere.
While seafaring is not nearly as common and prevalent in the world today, many people are still using “I like the cut of your jib” as a way of expressing their sympathy toward someone.
The phrase was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2007.
- Linguaholic.com – “I like the cut of your jib”: Meaning and Usage
- Phrases.org.uk – The meaning and origin of the expression: Cut of your jib