Texas A&M: What does ‘gig em’ mean?

Texas A&M Aggies. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Texas A&M Aggies. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football fans use “Gig Em” and a thumbs up sign as a rallying cry among them.

Of the many unique traditions associated with Texas A&M football, the thumbs up gesture accompanied by “Gig Em” certainly makes those not in the know turn their heads a bit.

“Gig Em” is a rallying cry among Aggies like “Hook ‘Em Horns” is among Texas fans and “Spurs Up” is among South Carolina fans. The latter two make sense given the mascot of both programs, but what does “Gig Em” have to do with Aggies? This is one steeped in tradition and one that makes sense if you think about a traditional rivalry Texas A&M used to have in the Southwest Conference.

This gesture is all about trolling the Aggies’ former Southwest Conference rival TCU Horned Frogs.

Texas A&M football: What does “Gig Em” mean?

While the phrase dates back to 1920, it really did not become popular in College Station until 1930. During yell practice before the TCU game, A&M alum P.L. “Pinkie” Downs asked the crowd, “What are we going to do to those Horned Frogs?” It was a rhetorical question, obviously. He responded by saying, “Gig Em, Aggies!” He then added the thumbs up to further emphasize it.

Though a Horned Frog is actually the Texas Horned Lizard, that did not stop Downs from degrading those sacred reptiles as inferior amphibians. Since people hunt frogs with a pronged tool called a gig, there you go. While Texas A&M and TCU have not played in the same conference since the mid-1990s, the old adage of “Gig Em, Aggies!” remains. Some traditions will never die.

For this to carry on through the Southwest and Big 12 days and into the SEC, you know it is legit.

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