From Middle English gabben, from Old English gabban (“to scoff, mock, delude, jest”) and Old Norse gabba (“to mock, make sport of”); both from Proto-Germanic *gabbōną (“to mock, jest”), from Proto-Indo-European *ghabh- (“to be split, be forked, gape”). Cognate with Scots gab (“to mock, prate”), North Frisian gabben (“to jest, sport”), Middle Dutch gabben (“to mock”), Middle Low German gabben (“to jest, have fun”).
- Idle chatter.
- The mouth or gob.
- One of the open-forked ends of rods controlling reversing in early steam engines.
- 1940 July, S. Richards, “Locomotive Valve gear Development”, in Railway Magazine, page 412:
- Loose eccentric reversing gear gave way about 1836 to the early forms of gab motion. [...] In 1840 Stephenson evolved a motion in which the gabs were connected directly to the valve spindle.
- See also Thesaurus:talkative
- (intransitive, obsolete) To jest; to tell lies in jest; exaggerate; lie.
- (intransitive) To talk or chatter a lot, usually on trivial subjects.
- 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1962, page 26:
- "That Mrs. Mender gives a bloke the ear-ache; thinks a bloke's got all day to waste listening to her gab."
- (transitive, obsolete) To speak or tell falsely.
- a large dove
gab n (singular definite gabet, plural indefinite gab)