Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
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HABBER, v., n. Also hubber (Sh., ne.Sc.).
I. v. 1. To stammer, to stutter (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1956); to talk continuously and boringly. Hence habberer, stammerer, chatterbox.Abd. 1913 G. Greig Mains Again 37:
Nae mair o' your impidence here — ye ill-fashioned habberer!Kcb. 1933 “L. G. Gibbon” Cloud Howe 63:
He habbered from nine until loosening-time, near, some story about some minister.Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 12:
A hubberin' halflin in fite moleskin breeks.m.Sc. 1939 James Barke The Land of the Leal (1987) 122:
But drink as they might and habber on about the merry exploits of bygone days; ... Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 165:
Then he habbered something and she bent closer to hear him. Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 2:
Neil Ritchie the keeper ower bi the loch hid catched the pair o them bonnie in the birkwids last Merch - gey near shot the buggers in fact - Attie, wi his breeks roon his queats, an Belle reid-chikked an hubberin.
‡2. “To snarl, to gnurr” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.); to make an inarticulate sound, to gobble as of turkeys (Abd. 1956).
Also fig. Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 104:
The turkeys . . . seemed to reciprocate my kind wishes by “hubberin'” back in my face.Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 57:
The yetts creak on hubberin hinges.
II. n. 1. A stammer, a stutter (Abd.27 1920; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1956).Bnff. 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 15:
“Please, sir” (a habber an' a hoast), — “Please, sir” (a gasp, a gulp, Syne wi' a rush) “Please-sir-can-we-win-oot-to-droon-a-fulp?”
2. One who stutters or speaks thickly, hence applied to a stupid person (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 225).
†3. A snarl, or growl; “the act of snarling or growling like a dog” (Abd. 1825 Jam.); a gobble, of a turkey (Abd. 1956).Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 12:
Fell death had come to see them An' gi'en a habber, Wi' solemn air.
III. Combs.: 1. habbercock, a source of annoyance, a variant of 4. For the sense-development see under Bubbly-jock; ¶2. happer-gallicks, v., to speak the Gaelic tongue; a nonce-formation in quasi-Highland Scots from Habber + Gaelic; 3. habbergaw, (1) n., hesitation, suspense, objection (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); (2) v., to stumble, hesitate (in reading); to make objections (Kcb.4 1900). Cf. Hammergaw; 4. habberjock, a turkey-cock (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 72; Ags. 1956); also used fig. of a big, stupid person who speaks thickly (Gregor).1. Bnff.2 1930:
Weel, weel, we maun jist thole; a' body hiz their habbercock.2. Sc. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 127:
Fan Tonnal cou'd te Latin speak As weel as happer-gallicks.3. Sc. 1827 A. Sutherland Tales of a Pilgrim 324:
With his thread-bare black coat, and his shreds of sermons, habergaing about supplicating for hands, and so forth.Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 99:
[He] habbergaws at every word; — Ca'd Ackaswarus exe an' swird.
Habber v., n.
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"Habber v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Jun 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/habber>