Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLAB, BLEB, BLABE, BLEIB, Bleeb, v.1, n.2 [blɑb, blɛb, bleb, bləib Sc.; blib, blib, bleb Rxb.]

1. v.

(1) To cause the face to swell with weeping. Now obs. in St.Eng., only Eng. quot. 1601 (N.E.D.). Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 149:
A Dutchess on her Velvet Couch reclin'd Blabs her fair Cheeks till she is almost blind.

(2) To besmear, beslobber (with dirt, food, etc.); to besprinkle (e.g. with dew). Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. blob:
We still say that clothes are blabbed or blebbed, when stained with grease' or any thing that injures them.
Abd.2 1934:
Noo ye maunna bleb an' blad that braw peenie ye've gotten on.
Ags. 1879 T. Ormond in A. L. Fenton Forfar Poets 141:
Her Sunday goun below the chin Was blabbed an' bleared wi' toddy, O.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake, etc. 177:
O wildly there the blue-bells hang Their cups a' blabb'd wi' dew.

2. n.

(1) A drop of moisture, a bubble, a blot. N.E.D. gives blab, a bubble, as obs. except dial. Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. blob:
A blab of ink.
Bch. 1924 J. Wight in Scots Mag. (Oct.) 59:
Porridge, which throws up “blabs” or bubbles, which burst and emit steam.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Sangs o' the Heatherland 20:
O flow'ret, bloomin' a' alane, Wi' een sae fu' o' bleibs o' dew.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 13:
You've seen the summer mornin', lads, Come lauchin' ower the lea' An' lichtin' up the blabs o' dew In ilk wee gowan's e'e.
Rnf. 1836 R. Allan Poems and Songs 15:
An' whan at morn the blabs o' dew Clear as the siller hang.

(2) A blister. N.E.D. gives blab, a blister, as obs. except dial., and bleb, a blister or small swelling, in use up till 1876. Of bleb, small blister, Un. Eng. Dict. says “rare.” Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Bleib. A pustule, a blister. “A burnt bleib,” a blister caused by burning.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Blabe (n., nw.). A blister; a pustule. ‡Bleeb (n., w.). Also bleib (ne., s.). A blister on the skin, as by burning.
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Blab. A raised blister.

(3) “Bag of a honey bee” (Bnff.7 1920). Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
A bee's blab, the little bag of honey within the body of a bee.

(4) In pl.: a rash. Lth., Border 1808 Jam.:
Bleibs. An eruption to which children are subject, in which the spots appear larger than in the measles.

(5) A blow. Mry.4 1935:
I'll gie ye a blab on the mouth.

[Imitative in origin. Cogn. with O.E. blāwan, to blow, hence to swell up, etc.]

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"Blab v.1, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2021 <>



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