Bib (garment)

A bib is a garment worn hanging from the neck on the chest to protect clothing from accidentally spilled food. Bibs are frequently used by young children, especially infants, but also by some adults. Bibs are also worn when consuming certain "messy" foods, such as lobster. In addition, bibs are used for infants when they drool a lot, for example when they are teething.

The invention of the lobster bib is credited to Irving Lundy, who developed them for use by diners in his seafood restaurant, Lundy's.[1]


The word, reported in English since 1580, probably stems from the verb bibben "to drink" (c.1380), from the Latin bibere, either because it was worn while drinking or because it "soaked up" spills.[2]

Other uses

Part of garment

The term bib may also refer to the part of a garment that covers the chest. For instance, an apron that covers the chest may be referred to as a bib apron. The part of a jumper dress or of an overall that covers the chest may also be referred to as a bib.


In sport, it may refer to a garment that used by a team to identify themselves on the field of play (a jersey), or to identify a participant in a competition with a start number ("bib number"). In Netball, bibs are used by the umpire to identify players' positions so it can be determined who is within their allowed area.


Paper bibs are also commonly used in dentist offices to protect the patient's clothing during checkups and cleanings. Another medical use is during an x-ray, a lead bib can be put over a patient to prevent the radiation from reaching parts other than the part of the body being tested.

See also


  1. Robbins, Michael W.; Palitz, Wendy (2001). Brooklyn: A State of Mind. Workman Publishing. p. 281. ISBN 9780761116356.
  2. bib. (n.d.) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014. (1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). Retrieved June 28 2016 from
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