Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOB, n.1, v.1 Also gub. Dim. gobbie, gubbie. [gɔb, gʌb]

I. n. 1. The mouth; the beak (of a bird) (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Uls. 1924 North. Whig (2 Jan.), gub; Mry., Ags., m. and s.Sc., Uls. 1954). Hence fig., the opening or “mouth” of a receptacle, e.g. a basket (Crm. 1911) and, by synecdoche, a fledgling (Ags. 1954, gob, gubbie). Also in Eng. (mainly n.) dial. and in slang. Sc. 1836 M. Scott Tom Cringle (1854) i.:
I thrust half a doubled up muffin into my gob, but it was all chew chew, and no swallow.
Gsw. 1838 A. Rodger Poems 249:
Creesh our loofs, and gust our gobs, An' dink us braw.
Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (30 Nov.) 9:
“Ye didna ken that I wis a bit o' an artist mysel?” quo I, haudin' up my gobbie till's een.
Rxb. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 47:
His visage was thrawn, and as black as a coal, As he opened his gob with unyirthly-like yolle.
Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're a' Coortin 31:
A shut gub mak's mair freens than dis an open mooth.
Rnf. 1947 J. F. Hendry Fernie Brae ii. i.:
“Shut yer gub!” shouted his father.

Hence -gubbit, -mouthed. Cf. gabbit s.v. Gab. wm.Sc. 1903 “S. Macplowter” Mrs McCraw 120:
Ye're gettin' gey sweet gubbit.

2. Petulant chattering (Edb. 1943). Cf. Gab, n.1 1. (2).

3. Phrs. & Combs.: †(1) gob slake, a blow on the mouth or jaws; (2) gob-sticker, a large, “chewy” sweet (Ayr.8 1954); (3) gob-stapper, id. (Abd. 1954); (4) the gob(s) o' May, a spell of stormy weather often occurring at the beginning of May (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Cai.7 1954, — Mey); cf. gab o' May s.v. Gab, n.2; (5) to mak gobs, to make faces, to grimace, make a wry face; also fig. to cavil (at). (1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 396:
I'll give you a Gob Slake.
wm.Sc. 1955 Bulletin (17 Jan.):
Large, shining “gob-stoppers” sold in wee sweetie shops in back streets for two a penny.
(5) s.Sc. 1838 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 70:
Wi' lips that mak nae gobs at cinders!
Bwk. 1863 Border Mag. 241:
But self-preservation maks nae gobs at dangers.

II. v. To prate, brag. Also in Eng. dial. Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1817) 280:
Quoth gobbin Tom of Lancashire, To northern Jock, a lowland Drover.

[O.Sc. has gob, gobb, a mouth, a beak, from early 16th c. From Gael. and Ir. gob, a bill, beak. Cf. Gab, n.1, v.]

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"Gob n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2022 <>



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