Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CARB, CARBLE, Carb'l, Carbul, Cerb, v. and n.1 [kɑrb, kɑrb(ə)l, kɛrb]

1. v. “To cavil” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2, carb, carble); “to fret, wrangle, quarrel” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6, carb, cerb); to find fault (with). Vbl.n. carblin. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10 1938. Bch.(D) 1930  P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 105:
Bit fin A carbul't wi' 'im, a' 'at 'e said wiz, “Weel, Sandy, A dinna like t' leave fat wid be met t' some peer thing.”
Fif. 1901  “G. Setoun” Skipper of Barncraig xviii.:
It's a foy, a foy, an' we're enjoyin oursels without carblin or argy-bargyin.

2. n. Wrangling (Bnff.2 1938); “a silly argument” (Abd.4 1929, carb'l). Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 22:
The fouk in yon hoose keep an unco carb wee ane anither.

[Prob. a variation of Eng. carp, to talk querulously, to find fault. Carble = carb + frequentative suff. -le.]

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"Carb v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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