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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GABBER, v., n. Also gaiber. [′gɑbər, ′gebər]

I. v. To jabber, to gibber, to talk incoherently (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 99); “to speak thickly or indistinctly” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., gaiber). Also in Eng. (mainly Yks.) dial.Mry. 1887 A. G. Wilken Peter Laing 14:
Weel, fan he was livin' at Dallas, twa strong chiels cam up to his hoose, an' gabberin' some Gaelic, ordered him to gie them his new brogues.
Gsw. 1999 Paul Foy in Moira Burgess and Donny O'Rourke New Writing Scotland 17: Friends and Kangaroos 47:
Well, this auld punter looks like he's gonny cack his pants an then when he tells everywan they aw look like the'rr aboot tae cack therr pants anaw and the'rr pushing and pushin this auld punter right up tae me, gabberin oan like a bunch a wee lassies, ...

II. n. Jabber, gibberish.Sc. 1925 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 336:
Then says he, “I can understaun' English or Scotch, But dang me! if a can mak' oot a hotch-potch; So dinna spew gabber like that in ma face.”

[Prob. onomat. (cf. Eng. jabber, gibber, gabble, and Du. gabberen), but phs. an intensive form of Gab, n.1, v.]

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"Gabber v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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