Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BAB, v. Sc. form of bob, with meanings partly as in St.Eng. and partly Sc.

1. As in Eng. bob. To move up and down, to rock. Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 198:
We lay babbin in the mouth o' the loch.

2. Sc. meanings.

(1) To dance (cf. Eng. dial. bob). Sc. 1716  Ramsay Chr. Kirke in Poems (1721) ii. x.:
The Lasses bab'd about the Reel Gar'd a' their Hurdies wallop.
Ayr. 1803  Sir A. Boswell Poet. Works (1871) 14:
In ilka countra dance and reel Wi' her he wad be babbin'.

(2) To shut (one's eyes). Arg. 1909  Colville L.Sc. 114:
For I scrabed at mysel' thestreen And could not bab an e'e.
Ayr. 1806  J. Train Poet. Reveries 100:
Except poor Odin, dowy loon, He cou'd na' bab an e'e.

[Origin obscure.]

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"Bab v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2019 <>



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