Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

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.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Bab v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Jul 2020 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: