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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

JIBBLE, v., n. Also gibble (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 60), geeble. [′dʒɪbəl, ′dʒibəl]

I. v. 1. tr. To agitate a liquid, gen. so as to cause spilling (Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.); ne.Sc., Ags., m.Lth., w. and sm.Sc., Uls. 1959; Uls. 1990s; Bnff. 2000s). Also with oot, owre, up (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 60; n.Sc., m.Lth. 1959); intr. of a liquid: to spill itself in drops or small splashes.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 60:
She wiz jist aible t' hairl the pail aifter hir, geeblin' an' spillin' the wattir a' the time.
Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 226:
A fu' cup . . . it's ill to carry: we're apt to jibble some o't by the way.
Ayr.4 1928:
Don't rin sae fast; ye're jibblin' a' the mulk.
Abd.1 1938:
Dinna showd that gait lassie, ye're junniein' the table an' the milk is jibblin owre the lip o' the basin.

2. To prepare (liquid) food in a careless, sloppy or messy manner; “used of cooking, with the idea of want of skill in the cook and disapprobation and contempt in the speaker” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 60).Ib.:
She'll niver dee at a' for a wife, yon han'less tawpie; for, fin a geed in, she wiz geeblin' an' tryin' to mack chappit green kail, an' cudna dee't. The aul' bodie geebles on at (or wee) teh, an' never tacks a made-ready (cooked) diet.

3. To lose, to destroy (Ayr. 1825 Jam.).

II. n. 1. A splash, the splashing or lapping of a liquid in motion (ne.Sc., Ayr. 1959).Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 72:
The sea was in a terrible jibble.

2. Fig.: a small quantity of any liquid or of half-liquid food, or drink (Bnff. 1880 Jam.; ne.Sc., Dmf. 1959). “The word contains the notion of contempt and dissatisfaction” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 60). Also dims. geeblick, -och, gibblich, -och (Ib., 61).Abd. 1826 Aberdeen Censor 134:
What would come o' my ten achisons ilka day, forbye the jibble o' drink, an' my place at Provost Leslie's?
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 60:
She ga 'im a geeble o' soor milk till's brehd.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 104:
His coat aye jawpit wi' drops an' jibbles o' drink.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 28:
That lovin' faith'll aft dee mair Than pheesic jibbles can.
Abd.1 1929:
A gibble o' half caul' tay an' a jeely piece didna hertin them up muckle. There's a gibblich o' milk left in the jug.

[From Jib, v. + freq. suffix. -le. Cf. Jabble.]

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"Jibble v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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