It’s pronounced GIF.

1 617 509 Näkymät

Is there a "right" way to pronounce it? And why is it so complicated? •
Written with Molly Ruhl and Gretchen McCulloch. Gretchen's podcast has an episode all about this:
Gretchen's book BECAUSE INTERNET, all about the evolution of internet language, is available:
🇺🇸 US:
🇨🇦 CA:
🇬🇧 UK:
(Those are affiliate links that give a commission to me or Gretchen, depending on country!)
Graphics by William Marler:
Audio mix by Graham Haerther:
Buck, S. 2014. 70% of People Worldwide Pronounce 'GIF' With a Hard 'G'.
O'Leary, A. (2013, May 21). An Honor for the Creator of the GIF. New York Times. Retrieved from
Olsen, S. The Gif Pronunciation Page.
Baio, A. 2014. ‘JIF’ Is the Format. ‘GIF’ Is the Culture.
McCulloch, G. 2015. Why the pronunciation of gif really can go either way.
Dow, M. 2020. It's 'gif and gif': The english lexicon goes both ways.
I'm at
on Twitter at
on Facebook at
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

  • I realised after upload that I slipped up here: if you pay close attention, you can tell the way I pronounce GIF. Ah well! Also, subtitling this was an interesting job...

    Tom ScottTom Scott2 kuukautta sitten
    • Hard G

      Iदीъёત સaन्दwиચIदीъёત સaन्दwиચ10 tuntia sitten
    • @Stoffel Duss wrong

      Carter SmithCarter Smith3 päivää sitten
    • @Felix Roux this. Unless you say "graphics" with a "j" sound, then the hard G flows through to the acronym.

      Paul S RohrbaughPaul S Rohrbaugh4 päivää sitten
    • 0:40 pure descriptivism is misguided. It would have more importance in a world where there wasn't widespread access to information, but wide-spread smartphone / internet access makes it trivial to access declarative knowledge. Pure descriptivism can impede the clear transmission of ideas when the ignorant masses redefine existing words - or when the politically motivated do it with nefarious intentions. A benign experience of this is "electrocute". A decade ago I hadn't gotten the memo that despite being a portmanteau of "electricity" and "execute", electrocute now could be used for any shock. Someone explained to me that their neighbor had installed a new electric fence, and it had electrocuted their dog. There was a solid minute of confused conversation as I believed the dog to be dead, whereas they knew that the dog had only received a minor shock. A more troubled example is the different definitions of "racism" that are in use. The tradition definition is "a belief that one race is superior to another". Meanwhile, some are actively lobbying to change the definition so that racism is linguistly impossible against a majority race, and is only possible against a racial minority. Yes, language needs to adapt to new ideas, and there are plenty of examples of this, like "blog" emerging from "web log" and "vlog" emerging from "video blog". But there is merit to being able to tell people that they're using a word incorrectly, or, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya - "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means".

      Paul S RohrbaughPaul S Rohrbaugh4 päivää sitten
    • oopsies

  • Well, gift is a hard G, so seeing as it's just 1 letter difference, I pronounce it Gif, not Jif. Jiffy is already a word and it's spelled with a J, so if you want to pronounce it with a J then it should be spelled with a J. Gibs in terms of exploded body parts is also a hard G because Jibs sounds too puss for Quake Arena.

    Jolan XBLJolan XBL7 tuntia sitten
  • Most people in my country pronounce it 'Jif'. That's 1.3 billion of them. Just saying.

    Avatans DubeyAvatans Dubey11 tuntia sitten
  • I read it as G I F........

    Mari YuhMari Yuh17 tuntia sitten
  • So it's fine for me to say Gee-Eigh-Eff right?

    张天阳张天阳19 tuntia sitten
  • It is pronounced Kift

    Yassine NacifYassine Nacif21 tunti sitten
  • Me who pronounces it "G.I.F": *Ok* 👁️ 👄 👁️

    The Weird CommentThe Weird Comment22 tuntia sitten
  • the correct one is *if

    KioKio23 tuntia sitten

    Bonnie The BunnyBonnie The BunnyPäivä sitten
  • I didn't know it was commonly pronounced "gif".. I used to say "gif"

    NirNJNirNJPäivä sitten
  • "GIF is pronounced GIF" Ah yes, the floor here is made of floor

    Lil DufflebagLil DufflebagPäivä sitten
  • let me end this debate guys. pronounce it as G - I - F.

    Prateek JoshiPrateek JoshiPäivä sitten
  • You know what l write Gif but i say Jif boom problem sovled

    FARWA ALIFARWA ALIPäivä sitten
  • My friend knows his left and rights in English but not in Norwegian and he's from Norway

    Medic BagMedic BagPäivä sitten
  • the way ive always called it gee-ai-ef 😥😥😥äivä sitten
  • I just say g i f. Pronounce the letters individually

    Momo TaroMomo TaroPäivä sitten
  • It was pronounced 01000111 01001001 01000110

    s mjs mj2 päivää sitten
  • Jif gang jif gang

    Blue ToadBlue Toad2 päivää sitten
  • wow d3if

    IsaacRoan SisonIsaacRoan Sison2 päivää sitten
  • Deaf people: hm.. interesting.

    PixelPixel2 päivää sitten
  • No problem here in Italy, we say gif like gist, the hard “gi” is only when g is followed by “h”, the other pronunciation sound to us like “ghif”.

    Niccolò TommasiNiccolò Tommasi2 päivää sitten
    • @Alex Kalinin I know you’re right, I just missed the example 😅

      Niccolò TommasiNiccolò TommasiPäivä sitten
    • I think you're a bit confused. "Gift" is pronounced with a "gh" sound

      Alex KalininAlex KalininPäivä sitten
  • Its gif not jif

    bigpapius 24bigpapius 242 päivää sitten
  • Bruh no it’s gif

    Angel BaggaAngel Bagga2 päivää sitten
  • i have always thought jif was weird. gif, gift, you dont say jift?

    Sage RedSage Red2 päivää sitten
  • K

    HackedHacked2 päivää sitten
  • So, I'm the only one who pronounce GIF "G-I-F"?

    Aldaniel DizonAldaniel Dizon2 päivää sitten
  • I pronounce GIF letter by letter.

    I'mChickenI'mChicken3 päivää sitten
  • I just pronounce it as 'G-I-F' ;-;

    swati sinhaswati sinha3 päivää sitten
  • Really interesting. Thanks.

    James FooJames Foo3 päivää sitten
  • How about all the lame people say ggggiff and the cool cats say jifff. It's a more funner word end of story. Funner? Funniest? Mostest? Mostest funner and more betterer. It's called a Gif. You say jjjjjifff you numbskull

    Anchor BaitAnchor Bait3 päivää sitten
  • I guess the creator of gif is wrong

    AmeliaAmelia3 päivää sitten
  • Every day we stay further away from Jod

    Nelo ZkNelo Zk3 päivää sitten
  • It's gif, not gif.

    Daniel SouzaDaniel Souza3 päivää sitten
  • How bout’ yiff

    Delli MilkDelli Milk3 päivää sitten
  • Gif not jif.

    G CarterG Carter3 päivää sitten
  • Idiots, its pronounced i̼̼̟͎͉̳̞̻̾̂̾̀l̐̈̔͐͏̭̺i̳͕̘̝̯̪ͮ̃͠k̡͉̼̉ḙ͎̗͈̮͔̓̾͘y̠̮̠̮̮̠̮̦̆͢a̾͒͂͏͇̣c̰͎̬͕̳͒̃̀ũ̹̤̘͈̖͖̘͞t̹̦̘̪̩̟̰̬͋ͤ̾ͣ͝g͑͌ͥ҉̮̝̼

    its.edits_its.edits_3 päivää sitten
  • I say it like G I F 👁👄👁

    아미리리아미리리3 päivää sitten
  • am i the only one who pronounce it G-I-F

    galaxo changalaxo chan3 päivää sitten
  • As someone who speaks a Canadian dialect of English, I have noticed that IPA spellings of words seem to be highly inconsistent with how I pronounce them. For example, I never actually say ə, it’s always ʌ, and for the longest time, I had no idea what the difference was between them.

    Aiden BagshawAiden Bagshaw3 päivää sitten
  • It's nor jraphics, it's graphics

    Badatnames BruhBadatnames Bruh3 päivää sitten
  • "umzzal"

    2인간⍢⃝⠀2인간⍢⃝⠀3 päivää sitten
  • It pronounced G-I-F.

    Rubin // nibuRuRubin // nibuRu4 päivää sitten
  • It's G-I-F Because it is an abbreviation for Graphics Interchange Format

    Mr. Motor FreakMr. Motor Freak4 päivää sitten
  • Jif: Daniel Gif: the cooler daniel

    tokyo ンョスtokyo ンョス4 päivää sitten
  • Yes it’s GIF indeed

    Epic7Ate9Epic7Ate94 päivää sitten
  • No it's not gif it's gif.

    hamsnerdhamsnerd4 päivää sitten
  • I always pronounced gee-ai-eff bc it was written all in capital letters so i could tell it was an acronym

    フェリペフェリペ4 päivää sitten
  • I pronounce it "gee eye eff" because that's how I read acronyms if I haven't heard them out loud. (also therefore I would be on the j side, right? because "gee"? but actually I side with "ghif" because it's distinctly a g sound and can't be confused with a j)

    KersplatKersplat4 päivää sitten
  • At this point I don’t even know how I originally pronounced it...

    Parsa RathernotsayParsa Rathernotsay4 päivää sitten
  • I searched “Is it GIF or GIF?”

    Mark MazurMark Mazur4 päivää sitten
  • Actually it’s pronounced yiff

    Mr. Hidden BladesMr. Hidden Blades4 päivää sitten
  • 70% says gif and 30% says dzif... Me: who says G, I, F I'm not even existed im 0% 😂

    Rupesh SharmaRupesh Sharma4 päivää sitten
  • i always say jif

    azooz dossazooz doss4 päivää sitten
  • I say it as g. i. f 😂😂

    N A R AN A R A4 päivää sitten
  • I say gif Not jif

    Shayla YouTubeShayla YouTube4 päivää sitten

    Madcat ASMRMadcat ASMR4 päivää sitten
  • I dont know why but i read it like how the letters are there "ji ai ef"

    ClutteringCluttering4 päivää sitten
  • Wait till you hear how the Dutch pronounce it :P

    WolfdenGaming /MavadeloWolfdenGaming /Mavadelo4 päivää sitten
  • Okay thanks dude.

    LoqShot XLoqShot X5 päivää sitten
  • I say g-i-f and everyone says it’s weird

    シCherishシシCherishシ5 päivää sitten
  • DIF

    MelancholiaMelancholia5 päivää sitten
  • let's sing the alphabet a b c d e f g o h

    lapissedlapissed5 päivää sitten
  • Gary and Gerald fighting for dominance once again

    DaisyFeverTIMEDaisyFeverTIME5 päivää sitten
  • [G]IF, because in my native language "g" has only one pronunciation

    ЪЪ5 päivää sitten
  • I thought It was pronounced fig

    HarisonHarison5 päivää sitten
  • Captain obvious is here

    Vicoe MoVicoe Mo5 päivää sitten
  • if you guy's want 'A Silent Voice' (amv) with lofi beat's (jaden's MIND remix), if yes, then go ahead at " @siFM

    #NCB#NCB5 päivää sitten
  • I pronounce it as "Jif" even back then…

    Chennie Chen ChenChennie Chen Chen5 päivää sitten
  • 30% of people are wrong.

    Paul MadleyPaul Madley5 päivää sitten
  • it was never an issue to me, there's a "g", so it's a /g/ (or "hard g") -- although me being Hungarian might be a factor in this

    zltn grzzltn grz5 päivää sitten
  • Me who reads it “G-I-F” 👁👄👁

    no one knows _no one knows _5 päivää sitten
  • it's actually pronounced "yiff" because GIF (or graphics interchange format) is an old english word

    IselIsel5 päivää sitten
    • Right, but its a different word with a different meaning, as tom points out with Gillingham. In english two words can be spelt the same but pronounced differently

      Jordyn YoungJordyn Young4 päivää sitten
  • i thought gel was pronounced gel not jel whatever im gonna prounounce it gel anyway

    asdferasdfer6 päivää sitten
  • I thought whenever it's a ge, gi, or gy, it's pronounced je, ji, jy.

    OMGaming203OMGaming2036 päivää sitten
  • It's pronounced Jif not Gif. Then Gif is pronounced as Gif!

    Puuding MusicPuuding Music6 päivää sitten
  • Why the hell am I enjoying this,Tom, you sly minx?

    ElricElric6 päivää sitten
  • We who actually pronounce it by G I F

    soham badesoham bade6 päivää sitten

    RianBeatrice526RianBeatrice5266 päivää sitten
  • If the guy who invented it says it's pronounced jif, then it's jif IMO.

    COMMANDandConquer199COMMANDandConquer1996 päivää sitten
  • The title pisses me off

    Gamer ki PlaysssGamer ki Playsss6 päivää sitten
  • Its hard g gif

    Andrut V13Andrut V136 päivää sitten
  • Gif can’t be pronounced ‘Jif’ as that’s actually pronounced ‘Cif’, apparently.

    f bf b6 päivää sitten
  • The correct answer is that one person made up a word "gif" pronounced "jif" and then other people made up a word "gif" pronounced "gif" to describe the same thing. Very few things in the world only have one word or one pronunciation to describe them.

    Will BWill B6 päivää sitten
  • who tf cares how they're pronounced, as long as people understand what we said it's all good, that's the main reason of communication

    Muhaiz ruMuhaiz ru6 päivää sitten
    • a fellow descriptivist eh?

      maria femaria fe6 päivää sitten
  • I just realized that laser is an acronym

    d o r i a r td o r i a r t6 päivää sitten
  • Why can't we just say dgi ai ef

    d o r i a r td o r i a r t6 päivää sitten
  • I pronounce it as *G . I . F*

    Manahil JunejoManahil Junejo6 päivää sitten
  • gif

    Neki StunterNeki Stunter6 päivää sitten
  • Who tf pronounces GIF, gif? I am from India and all of my friends pronounce jif

    Sruti DekaSruti Deka6 päivää sitten
  • how i pronouce GIF: gé í ef

    Nao PotátóNao Potátó6 päivää sitten
  • It's pronounced yiff

    AveonAveon6 päivää sitten
  • Jif.

    lavender Halolavender Halo6 päivää sitten
  • It's G I F end of story

    fi revloefi revloe7 päivää sitten
  • "Jif" in my language translates to the slang for sewage.

    omer michaelyomer michaely7 päivää sitten
  • The "wrong way" that you pronounced "laser" is quite close to what you pronounce that word in Polish

    Kamil WilczyńskiKamil Wilczyński7 päivää sitten
  • Me : "zhaif"

    Rei HonokaRei Honoka7 päivää sitten
  • Before I knew it was jif I pronounce it as G I F

    Kelly KlaussKelly Klauss7 päivää sitten
  • Disgusting, it’s obviously iaeéñÿñêvæšęeêńtœpręęty

    morning sweatiesmorning sweaties7 päivää sitten

    Cat MewCat Mew7 päivää sitten
  • I think its pronounced "Gif" because it's not peanut butter.

    Yoshi The BirdYoshi The Bird7 päivää sitten