Alternatively (but far less likely), an alteration of flibbergib (“toady, sycophant”), derived potentially from an Old Norse *fleipra-geipa(re) (“babbler of nonsense”). The hypothetical Old Norse term would have been a compound of fleipra (a variant of fleipa (“to babble, tattle”)), and geipa (“to talk nonsense, to boast”) or geipare (“one who speaks nonsense, braggart”). fleipa is notably the ancestor to the flip- part of the English word flippant. It is of note that the original meaning of flibbergib was “chatterer”.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌflɪbətiˈdʒɪbɪt/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈflɪbɚtiˌdʒɪbɪt/
Audio (US) (file)
flibbertigibbet (plural flibbertigibbets)
- An offbeat, skittish person; especially said of a young woman.
- A flighty person; someone regarded as silly, irresponsible, or scatterbrained, especially someone who chatters or gossips.
- (archaic) An imp, a fiend.