Post-it note pinned to a white wall reading "JIC"

No, “JIC” isn’t the sound you make when you’re having a hiccup. It’s a versatile internet acronym that’s useful to have in your vocabulary. Here’s what it means.

Just In Case

JIC means “just in case.” It’s commonly used to share a piece of information or convince someone of an action that probably won’t be necessary but might be. For example, someone might tell you, “Hey, the road on 8th street is blocked, JIC you’re passing through there.” They’re not sure if you will end up passing 8th street en route to your destination, but if you do, you’ll be glad to have that information.

It can also be used to do a favor for someone or share a piece of information that you’re not sure will be necessary. For example, you might send someone a link to the newest episode of a show you both watch, accompanied by, “JIC you didn’t know it came out.” Whether or not the person knew, they will appreciate the gesture.

JIC shares a lot in common with another acronym, “ICYMI” or “in case you missed it.” The biggest difference is that JIC can apply to a wide variety of situations, while ICYMI only applies to news or information.

RELATED: What Does "ICYMI" Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Where JIC Comes From

If the first definition for JIC on Urban Dictionary from May of 2005 is anything to go by, this is a fairly recent acronym. it reads “Just in case is very common and should have its own acronym.” The writer isn’t wrong—it’s a very common acronym online.

You’re most likely to see JIC in a personal conversation with a friend or family member through chat apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, or Discord. In some ways, saying “JIC” can be a way of endearing yourself to others and letting them know you’re thinking of them. Your daughter might text you something like, “JIC we ran out, I bought some of your favorite orange juice on my way home.”

JIC You Need It

Man sitting and smiling at smartphone

An implication of using JIC is that you might not end up needing the piece of information, action, or item, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes you’ll be left to weigh the risks then make a decision on whether you should do it or not. For example, if a friend tells you, “Make sure to stock up on supplies JIC the winter gets really bad.” Ultimately, it’ll be up to you to act on it.

This is the case with sharing news as well. When you’re not sure if someone has already been informed on a sale at your favorite store, you might tell someone “JIC you didn’t know.” While the person might have already heard about it, it might be something they’ve already forgotten. Alternatively, it lets someone know that you’re thinking about their wellbeing.

Where You See JIC

One of the most common spaces where you’ll see JIC is in online gaming. In games such as MMORPGs, multiplayer strategy titles, and competitive shooters, preparation is crucial to winning games. Players need to consider all possibilities and avoid making simple mistakes that might cost them the win. Therefore, you might see teammates telling you things such as “Clear out this part of the map JIC.” This means that you should do something even though it’s unlikely to make an impact.

Another common space where JIC is used is in schools and learning environments. When students talk to each other in private conversations or group messages, you’ll see JIC pop up here and there. This is especially true if students aren’t particularly clear on what they need to study or do for a particular class. For example, if no one seems to be sure what topics will be covered on a test, someone might say “Just study all of chapter 5 JIC something from it comes out.”

How to Use JIC

To use JIC, substitute it in any sentence where you’d otherwise say “just in case.” You can use JIC in either uppercase or lowercase, depending on who you’re talking to. Internet slang savvy younger people may recognize the lowercase easily, whereas others may need the uppercase to identify that it’s an acronym.

Here are a few examples of JIC in action:

  • “JIC you don’t know how to do it, here’s a link to the tutorial.”
  • “I sent you over some food JIC you’re hungry.”
  • “JIC you were planning to take the train, it’s broken down at the moment.”

Are you looking to learn more online acronyms? Check out our articles on RN, YSK, and IYKYK, and you’ll be an internet slang expert in no time!

RELATED: What Does "YSK" Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Profile Photo for Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
Read Full Bio »