grabbler

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

grabble +‎ -er

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

grabbler (plural grabblers)

  1. A person who grabbles.
    1. A person who grabs or grasps for something.
      • 1861, Simpson Davison, The Gold Deposits of Australia, London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 2nd edition, p. 164,[1]
        [He] once called diggers greedy gold grabblers.
    2. (Southeastern US) One who harvests food (such as tubers or peanuts) by digging it up with the hands.
      a goober-grabbler (dated slang term for a person from the U.S. state of Georgia, literally, one who harvests peanuts by hand)
      • 1873, uncredited author, Old Times in West Tennessee, Memphis, TN: W. G. Cheeney, Chapter 8, pp. 186-187,[2]
        My room-mate, like myself, was fond of roasted potatoes. The patch was very convenient. We had to pass through it in getting to the cabin we occupied, and he was an expert grabbler.
    3. (Southeastern US) A person who catches fish by feeling with the hand.
      • 1930, William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, London: Chatto & Windus, 1935, “Vardaman,”[3]
        [] Darl had to grabble for her so I knew he could catch her because he is the best grabbler even with the mules in the way []
      • 2002, Bil Lepp, Inept, Impaired, Overwhelmed: Tall Tales from West Virginia and Beyond, Charleston, WV: Quarrier Press, “Grabbled,” p. 66,[4]
        We were about to land our first monster catfish by hand. We were grabblers!
  2. A tool for grabbling.
    1. (Southeastern US, Barbados) An implement used for grabbling (digging up) tubers.[1]
      • 1948, Richard Chase (ed.), Grandfather Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, “How Bobtail Beat the Devil,” p. 89,[5]
        [] then Bobtail he got his bull-tongue plow and his grabbler and pretty soon there was his potatoes.
    2. (obsolete) An implement used to extract bodies from the water.
      • 1689, uncredited author, A Sad and Lamentable Account of the Strange and Unhappy Misfortune of Mr. John Temple, London,[6]
        [] four Boats, and several Men in them, with Ropes and Grablers, searched the Thames a great part of Sunday, using all Opportunities to find the dead Body;
      • 1767, The Annual Register, cited in Notes and Queries, 15 June, 1878, p. 478,[7]
        After diligent search had been made in the river for the child to no purpose, a twopenny loaf with a quantity of quicksilver put into it was set floating from the place where the child, it was supposed, had fallen in [] the loaf suddenly tacked about and swam across the river, and gradually sunk near the child, when both the child and loaf were immediately brought up with grabblers ready for that purpose.

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Allsopp (ed.), Dictionary of Caribbean Usage, Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, p. 264: “grabˑbler n [] A long, pointed, iron implement used for digging up potatoes and yams.”