argle-bargle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1808 Scottish,[1][2][3] from earlier argle (16th century), presumably from argue +‎ -le ((frequentive)), though possibly from Old Norse (Suio-Gothic) ierga[1] – possibly influenced by haggle[4] – plus rhyming reduplication, possibly from bargain, found in early variant aurgle-bargain (1720).[3][5]

Noun[edit]

argle-bargle (plural argle-bargles)

  1. (slang) A verbal argument.

Verb[edit]

argle-bargle (third-person singular simple present argle-bargles, present participle argle-bargling, simple past and past participle argle-bargled)

  1. (slang) To argue.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped, ch. 11
      Last night ye haggled and argle-bargled like an apple-wife; and then passed me your word, and gave me your hand to back it; and ye ken very well what was the upshot.
    • 2013, Antonin Scalia, United States v. Windsor, p. 22:
      As I have said, the real rationale of today’s opinion, whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow, is that DOMA is motivated by '"bare . . . desire to harm"' couples in same-sex marriages.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 John Jamieson, Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Tongue. p. 82
  2. ^ Scalia's argle-bargle”, Ben Zimmer, Language Log, June 27, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Words in the Courtroom, from Mobspeak to "Argle-Bargle", Ben Zimmer, Word Routes, June 27, 2013
  4. ^ Word Detective, Issue of January 5, 2006, “Put up your duke's.”, Evan Morris.
  5. ^ “But ’tis a Daffin to debate, / And aurgle-bargain with our Fate.” —Allan Ramsay, Poems, “The Rise and Fall of Stocks, 1720. An Epistle to the Right Honorable my Lord Ramsay.”, p. 270