gift of the gab

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

gift of the gab (usually uncountable, plural gifts of the gab)

  1. (idiomatic) The ability to talk readily, glibly, and convincingly, especially on trivial matters and small talk.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, ch. 43:
      "Ay, that he shall," replied Fagin, "and we'll have a big-wig, Charley: one that's got the greatest gift of the gab: to carry on his defence; and he shall make a speech for himself too, if he likes."
    • 1915, John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps, ch. 4:
      I had meant to speak for ten minutes and must now go on for forty, and, though I've been racking my brains for three hours to think of something, I simply cannot last the course. Now you've got to be a good chap and help me. You're a Free Trader and can tell our people what a wash-out Protection is in the Colonies. All you fellows have the gift of the gab.
    • 2014, Michael White, "Roll up, roll up! The Amazing Salmond will show a Scotland you won't believe", The Guardian, 8 September 2014:
      He is a political chameleon, as charming to business leaders he met privately in Aberdeen on Friday night as he has been inspiring to distressed and desperate Labour defectors in Glasgow and beyond. The ex-oil economist can do it all because he has the gift of the gab and used to be a leftwing tearaway, expelled from the SNP ranks in stuffier times.

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