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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

GIBBLE-GABBLE, n., v. Also †gib(b)le-gable. Since 18th c. only dial. in Eng.

I. n. Noisy, nonsensical talk; chatter, gossip, tittle-tattle (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems, Gl.; Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bnff., Abd., Ags., Slg., m.Lth., Bwk., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf., Rxb. 1954). Also gibby-gabble, gibbi-, id., used attrib. = tattling, gossipy, nimble-tongued; cf. Gibbie-gabbie.Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 173:
No like the rest o' quack Physicians, Thae gibbi-gabble rhetoricians.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 108:
The South-street gowl'd wi' gibble-gabble.
Ags. 1853 W. Blair Chron. Aberbrothock xv.:
But she was a gibby-gabble body.
Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale v.:
Dinna be sae silly, sirs, as to gie heed to a' that gibbie-gabble that you hear concernin' the man.
Edb. 1917 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xviii. 6:
The gibble-gabble o' a fule is the cause o' mony a collieshangie.

II. v. To prattle, chatter (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne. and em. Sc., Rxb., Dmf. 1954); “to converse confusedly, a number of persons speaking at once” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1706 Short Survey Married Life 10:
She'll Gible-Gable like a Goose.
Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 211:
They said the grace as fast as able, Syn a' yok'd to to gibble-gable, And mak' a din.

[Reduplicative form of Eng. gabble.]

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"Gibble-gabble n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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