Trend Watch

Zuck: Cook 'Glib'

Lookups have spiked over 2300%

Glib skipped to the top of our lookups on April 2nd, 2018, after a top executive at one large technological concern criticized a top executive at another large technological concern.

Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t appreciate how Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has criticized the social network’s business strategy of monetizing user information. During a recent interview with Vox Media’s Ezra Klein, Zuckerberg described Cook’s published comments as “glib.”
—Mark DeCambre, Marketwatch (, 2 Apr. 2018

Glib, which is believed to have come to our language by modifying the Low German word glibberig (meaning "slippery"), has a small variety of senses which are closely related, yet disparate enough in meaning to provoke confusion. The word may mean "marked by ease and informality," "showing little forethought or preparation," or "marked by ease and fluency in speaking or writing often to the point of being insincere or deceitful."

The literal sense ("slippery") and the figurative one most often encountered today ("insincere to the point of being deceitful") both appear to have begun being used around the end of the 16th century.

But Iacob sayde vnto Rebecca his mother, Beholde my brother Esau is a rough hairie man, but I am glib and of a smooth skinne.
—Jean Calvin, Thirteene Sermons, 1579

But as there is greatest daunger when foes beginne to faigne, so haue we greatest cause to distrust these enemies of God and of the common weale, when they haue made their tongues most glyb and smoothe to deceaue withall, that as one saith verie well, they may binde mens soules in their sinnes.
—Caspar Olevian, An Exposition of the Symbole of the Apostles, 1581

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