GIG, apparently an onomatopoeic word for any light whirling object, and so used of a top, as in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, v. i. 70 (" Goe whip thy gigge "), or of a revolving lure made of feathers for snaring birds. The word is now chiefly used of a light two-wheeled cart or carriage for one horse, and of a narrow, light, ship's boat for oars or sails, and also of a clinker-built rowing-boat used for rowing on the Thames. " Gig " is further applied, in mining, to a wooden chamber or box divided in the centre and used to draw miners up and down a pit or shaft, and to a textile machine, the " gig-mill " or " gigging machine," which raises the nap on cloth by means of teazels. A " gig " or " fish-gig " (properly " fiz-gig," possibly an adaptation of Span, fisga, harpoon) is an instrument used for spearing fish.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)