Today’s Shakespearean word of the day is… gib
Pronounced gib not jib, a gib is a tom-cat.
Hamlet tells Gertrude that she must hide her knowledge of Hamlet’s true behaviour from Claudius, just as she would hide it ‘from a paddock, from a bat, a gib’ (Hamlet, 3.4.192).
These animals were all thought to act as a witch’s familiar—an attendant spirit, usually in the form of an animal, that was a powerful source of magic and capable of reading minds.
This definition is taken from the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, a unique dictionary to unlock the mysteries of Shakespeare’s world, words and language, compiled by renowned English language expert David Crystal and Shakespearean actor and producer Ben Crystal.