- Gist means “essence” or “the main point.”
- In a legal context, gist is the grounds of a legal action.
- Jist is a common misspelling of gist.
Definition of Gist
When we say we want to get the gist of something, we’re talking about its essence or main point:
In legal contexts, gist refers to the grounds on which a legal action rests. This meaning is closer to the origin of the word gist. It was borrowed from Anglo-French in the early eighteenth century. The phrase it was commonly used in was cest action gist, which means “this action lies.”
Gist or Jist: Which is Correct?
The only correct way of spelling gist is with a g. It’s not uncommon to see it misspelled with a j, but no matter how often jist might pop up, it is not the correct way to spell gist.