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 This article is an A-class article. It is written to a very high standard. This article is part of Altverse II.
Comedian John Ellis Bush as "Guaca Bowle", a stereotypically jebbish character.
"Jeb is a mess. Jeb is a big, fat mess. Jeb is a waste. Jeb is a big, fat mistake."

– A Sierran proverb

Jeb (/ɛb/ JEB) (About this sound listen ) is a pejorative epithet commonly used in Anglo-America. It is contemporarily applied to refer to socially awkward or inept individuals, or those with dull or unassertive personalities. Emerging in the late 19th century in Sierra, the term has undergone various transformations in meaning and usage. The modern understanding of jeb is used in a similar fashion to "loser" or "wallflowers".

The word was first popularized in the late-1940s by the Sierran mass media to describe uninteresting or unremarkable people before the usage of the word spread across the Anglo-American community through movies, television, literature, and music. The Mulholland American English Dictionary defines "jeb" as an informal Anglo-American colloquial term with three meanings, "an individual who is unassuming and reserved by nature yet attempts to exude charisma and attractiveness but fails; a person who lacks adequate social skills; a pathetic person".

In addition to jeb, there are derivatives of the word. For instance, jebolyte has been used to refer to submissive or pandering individuals, and white knights. The adjectives "jebbish", "jebesque", "jebular", "jebful", and "jebtacular" have been used in relation to those who have jeb-like qualities, or used as synonyms for "sad" or "depressing", or as mild expletive attributives (intensifier). The word has also been used as a verb to refer to those who performed or acted in a "jebbish" manner. In contemporary usage, jeb is sometimes accompanied with an exclamation point (Jeb! or ¡Jeb!), often mockingly used in a meta, ironic sense. Although jeb has rarely been considered vulgar, it is viewed as rude, and at times, profane and offensive, depending on the context. It can be used as a term of endearment or an insult.


A Sierran comic dated in 1946 featuring the use of "jeb".

The origin of "jeb" in its modern contextual usage has been disputed, and the usage and meaning of the word has fluctuated and varied throughout its history. Early 19th century accounts have shown writers using the name, "Jeb", to refer to the common man in a similar fashion to how John Doe or Billy Bob are used. Jeb itself is a shortened version of the name "Jebediah", which in turn is a variant of the biblical name "Jedediah". The name was sporadically used in the Sierran Styxie during the Sierran Civil War to refer to poor yeoman, although nearly always in an endearing manner. Various military units fighting for the Republic nicknamed themselves "Jebs" and referred to each other as such.

Entering the Sierran general vernacular around the turn of the 20th century, its colloquial meaning shifted from referring to poor farmers to individuals who exhibited sheepish or timid behavior, particularly those who refused to enlist in the military and join the war effort during Great War I and Great War II. A military training handbook published by the Sierran Royal Army in 1943 instructed recruits to discourage unproductivity and laziness among each other on the barracks, and claimed those who refused to work were likely to flee the open battlefield due to their lack of courage, calling them "spineless Jebs", and also referred those who willfully ignore military orders and discipline as "Farmer Jeb tomfoolery". These terms evolved to describe individuals who not only exhibited shyness, but had a peculiar aversion to social situations, and were often applied against conscientious objectors and introverts, who were looked down in the culture and environment of the Sierran Crown Armed Forces.

The word was first used in its current meaning in a satirical newspaper in 1939, and first used in the 1946 film, They Came from Beyond!. By 1955, as the television and cinema industries in Hollywood grew, the use of the term became widespread, and jebbish characters became staple stock characters used in various media. The term "jebesque" arose to describe works which explored the themes of jeb-like behavior including isolation and alienation, and jebbish situations were used as a popular trope during the rise of sitcoms in the late 1950s.

During the Cold War and the spread of the counterculture movement, the term "jeb" fell out of popular use, but continued to be understood by its contemporary definition. Part of the reason the term lost its popularity during the time was the anti-conformity youth subculture that arose in the midst of the political and social derision, in retaliation to the stereotypes based on social status, including jocks and preppies.

In the 1970s and 80s, usage of jeb resurged in Sierra, primarily among youth who embraced punk subculture and other niche communities. In an effort to "reclaim" the name, jeb came to refer to those who rejected conventional norms, and embraced offensive or socially unacceptable ideas and practices, contrary to the traditional values held by the "establishment". Used as a term of endearment, similar to the use of the word in the late 19th century, a movement known as "Jeb pride" arose, rallying adolescent youth and young adults who felt alienated by society.

Into the 21st century, with the rise of the Internet, jeb continued to be used to refer to those who challenged authority or were seen as cool through their alternative lifestyles. The reversion of the term's meaning, and consequently, inversion of the late 20th century meaning, to the meaning used in the 1950s and 60s reemerged in the 2010s. The term was initially used in internet subculture to mock those who had embraced or embodied the 1980s meaning of the term, akin to the similar term "edgelord", before it became associated with cringe and irony. The restoration of the term's 1950s meaning returned into the mainstream language of Anglo-American English, and its meaning expanded to include the new, additional, and more explicit definition of "sad" or "depressing". Its use has also been closely linked with the alt-right political movement.

Semantics and stereotype

An early 1930s comic showcasing the use of the term "jebbish" in its modern sense, and the characteristics of social clumsiness.
Jeb is not just someone who is shy or awkward, or even cowardly, have low self-esteem. No, it goes beyond just that. No, to be a Jeb, is to be someone whose very own existence spells disaster. Jeb is someone who tries to act like something they're not, and pretend that they're hot shit when they're not. And when they try to do this, they only wound up embarrassing themselves because they actually have no idea how to pass off as likable, let alone being cool. Some Jebs may actually also be insufferable people. Since they don't have any charisma, they make it up for the complete opposite–unlikable nastiness. When you see a Jeb, and you see them in their jebbish state, you cringe, and it's a sad cringe, and you're thankful you're not them. You even might get schadenfreude from observing them. You pity them, and they may or may not know of their own wretched state. The jebbiest of them all are those who don't even fucking know they're Jebs or deny it. That's pretty jebbish to me.
—John Ellis Bush, Who is Jeb?

The word has mainly been used as a pejorative insult or descriptor, generally to refer to people who are awkward, subordinate, meek, coy, clumsy, or cowardly. It has also been used to describe people who lack self-awareness or cringeworthy. Jeb can also be treated as a verb, working similarly to the phrase, "to mess up" or more crudely, "to fuck up", with "to jeb up" seen as a milder form of the latter form. The term emerged initially as a referential term for low-income farmers or backwater inhabitants of the Styxie, akin to "redneck" or "hillbilly", before it eventually became associated with weak-willed and asocial individuals. The term meliorated during the later 20th century when Anglo-American youth appropriated the term as a symbol of counterculture and non-conformity. According to James Tiptree from the Department of Psychology from the University of Porciúncula, Gold Coast, he writes in his book, Language and the Mind, "'Jeb' succeeds in discrediting and marginalizing any individual who falls outside what is socially acceptable, and particularly those who resist or cannot follow such norms."

Aside from being socially awkward, the jeb stereotype displays sign of insecurity and social anxiety, and more often used to describe males, rather than females. The feminine form, jebette has occasionally been used but jeb itself is unisex. Other stereotypes include having a poor taste in fashion or attire choices, wearing a hoodie, possessing a savant-like fascination towards eccentric or mundane topics, lacking the ability to defend one's self, being easily offended or flustered, and having a homely or unattractive appearance. There has been a overlap between the jeb stereotype and NEETs, and among the alt-right internet community, the term jeb has been extended to include progressives and liberals, or individuals perceived to have "sold out", similar to the term "cuck" or "cuckservative" (i.e., people who are self-loathing and seek to subvert one's own people in favor of another group).

In The Bushes and The Clintons, a 2010s reality TV show based in Brazoria, former politician-turned-comedian John Ellis Bush embraced the jeb stereotype through the character bearing the same name as his (as "Jeb Bush"), and had an unnatural obsession with tiny turtle trinkets and guacamole, with the latter his attempt at being "cultured". Bush's portrayal of the stereotype through the character has led to the resurgence of the term's negative usage, leading to criticism among some who believe the pejorative unfairly ostracizes and shames people with social or communication issues, or people who are reserved.


Jeb in other languages
Jeb! (Vector).png
Chinese name
Chinese 傑布
Literal meaning heroic cloth
Korean name
Japanese name
Kana ジェブ
Russian name
Russian Джеб
Romanization Dzheb
Serran name
Serran Serran J.svgSerran E.svgSerran B.svg
The word jeb and its derivatives are seldom used in formal speech or writing, but the inclusion of such word is regarded as tolerable at best and inappropriate at worst. Unlike most other insults, the emotional impact and intensity of the word is subdued or inverted. It can be used to enhance the delivery of or emphasize information. In describing the use of the word, linguist Christopher Peters said on a 2014 RBS's Morning Sierra program:
Rather than amplify the severity of a situation as the words 'fuck' and 'shit' do, as those words in of themselves carry deep intensity in vulgarity, 'jeb' attenuates the sentence just as actual jebs would if the stereotype rings true. It is impossible to cry 'Jeb!' with such force without immediately losing any command of respect or seriousness. Just try it. 'Jeb! Jeb! Jeb!' The word prevents that use and the effect is lost instantaneously. In fact, if one tries to use it in a scathing manner, one will encounter it only adds to the miserable word. 'Jeb' despises itself, and so, of course the word self-defeatingly sounds pathetic innately–achieving the intended effect in conveying to the receiver how pitiful the situation is, or perhaps even them.

Political usage in Sierra

Jeb has been used by politicians and officials, with its usage seeing a rise since 2010. Members of various party affiliations and organizations have used the term against their opponents, equating the term with poor or ineffective leadership, especially with regards to foreign defense. During the prime ministry of Steven Hong, Royalist leaders described Hong's handling of foreign policy as "jebbish", with the comments meriting their own controversy and criticism.

In 2015, during the Royalist primaries for the 2016 elections, Senator Daniel McComb labeled his opponent, Senator Mark Sandstrom, as a "low-energy jeb", a remark that quickly caught on among his supporters. When Sandstrom delivered a rebuttal to McComb's remarks, his delivery was seen as jebbish, and attracted ridicule in the online community. McComb ultimately defeated Sandstrom, and ultimately won the general election, becoming the next prime minister.

In the media

Promotional cover of John Ellis Bush as Guaca Bowle on the EBN's TV comedy series, The Clintons & The Bushes

The prevalence of jeb in Anglo-American English, and to a lesser extent, the global English language, was made possible through its widespread use in various media ranging from soap operas to superhero comic books. Originating in Sierra, Hollywood helped the word cross national lines, and spread to Astoria, Brazoria, Manitoba, Superior, and the United Commonwealth during the 1950s and 60s. Its casual adoption by the mass media led to its integration into everyday speech, and its stereotype became a readily describable archetype in the Anglo-American collective consciousness. The jeb stereotype or archetype has frequently appeared in Anglo-American media, and jebbish situations are a common trope, often played for comedic effect. It has appeared on an all-encompassing spectrum of media ranging from cinema to television, appearing on live-action shows and children's television. The character Hubert Grimes from the 1955 television show Tales from Beverly Hills was one of the most prominent examples of a jeb, especially through the character's mannerisms and speech. The popular book series The Heirloom features John Edus, a prominent character in the series, as having "jebbish attributes" by the author Clarence Finley, and the film adapted series has also featured the character, and portrayed by actor Jared Savage. A modern example of the jebbish stereotype has been played by John Ellis Bush, who plays "Jeb Bush" in the Dixie television series The Clintons & The Bushes. In the Sierran television comedy series The Styx 100, the character Michael Sparks, played by Q-Lo, is presented as a jebbish individual.

Related words

Derivatives and idioms


The term jebbish is a colloquialism usually used to describe a person or an action perceived to be jeb-like in essence or nature, which may be someone or something eliciting pity, empathy, cringe, or embarrassment. Compared to jeb, the use of jebbish has been more versatile in its meaning, and has been used as a synonym for "sad" or "depressing". Jebbish can also be used to convey boredom, tiresomeness, or indifference as in the case, "The movie felt jebbish to me." Another usage of jebbish treats the word as "smug" or "cocky" as in, "He was acting all jebbish when he won the tournament," yet in other instances, it can be treated as "modest" (with a negative connotation) as is the case in "She has always been jebbish, so she never asks for a promotion."


The term jebful is an adjective which functions similarly to jebbish but is more closely related to the word dreadful, where it is generally used to describe an unpleasant or undesirable situation, or to convey displeasure ("That book was just plain jebful"), although it can also described something jeb-like. Sometimes, jebful is used as a noun, usually of generic mass, similar to the word stuff as in "They gave me jebful" or "He didn't want that jebful". The variant jebfully functions as an adverb which has the same meaning as jebful, but used to describe verbs ("The racer and her horse jebfully galloped to the finish line last.")

Pulling a Jeb

The expression of pulling a Jeb is used to refer to a particular action or scenario that was perceived to be jebbish and which resulted in embarrassment, ridicule, or failure. The saying can also stand in for "making a mistake" or "fucking up". In less common instances, it can replace the term, SNAFU, as "pulled Jeb" as is the case, in a 1967 issue of the The Porciúncula Times ran a headline, "Underfunded Airport Delaying Flights Pulled Jeb".


The term jebolyte is a pejorative directed towards individuals who are perceived to be traitorous or subversive, especially when in the context of identity politics. Jebolyte has been a term strongly associated with the alt-right movement, who equate the support for multiculturalism and progressivism as a form of jebbish behavior. For example, a common stereotype of a jebolyte is usually a white male or female, who has white guilt and willingly supports other races while stigmatizing or rejecting the worth of their own. Jebolyte has been a much more controversial term than jebbish and is similar to the neologistic meaning of "cuck" and race traitor.


The term jebbing can be used as a verb where it describes an action perceived to be jebbish, or the state of being jebbish. The adverb variant of the term is jebbingly. Jebbing may also be understood and used as an adjective, where it functions as an emphatic filler in sentences, wherein the insertion or removal of the term would not alter the syntax or meaning of the sentence.

Excuse me, Jeb/Please clap, Jeb

The phrases Excuse me, Jeb and Please clap, Jeb are sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek expressions, that, when used as direct commands, to convey contempt, disapproval, dismissal, or disgust by the speaker towards the receiver. Similar to shut up, both phrases function to silence someone, or to mock them for something they had said or done. Both may also be simply used as playfully or lightheartedly, especially among family or close friends as teases.

See also