It sounds a little like all the following: grip, crib, rib, grub, grab, grit. It has a simultaneous hardness to the sound and a softness. It almost sounds like a little baby animal's cry for his mama. So 'losing your grib' conveys a poignancy, a tenderness that comes forth from the belly -- a kind of desperate emotional cry for help -- a strangled plea for mercy ... When a drunk falls down in the street, what would he say? 'Ach, I've lost me grib.' (Uh, that would be an Irish drunk.) So while the term carries a deep level of emotion, it can be used without a sense of self-pity -- it remains simple, blunt, unadorned. When an athlete strives to achieve perfection, but just barely falls short, what would the sports announcer say? 'Brian, I think her grib's just not up to the mark today.'
And then... somehow, I just lose my grib and it all goes spiraling out of control...
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