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  • IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒæbə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æbə(ɹ)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English jaberen, javeren, chaveren (to chatter, babble), dissimilated forms of jablen, chavelen (to jabber), from Middle English chavel ("jaw"; > modern English jowl). Equivalent to jowl +‎ -er (iterative suffix).


jabber (third-person singular simple present jabbers, present participle jabbering, simple past and past participle jabbered)

  1. (intransitive) To talk rapidly, indistinctly, or unintelligibly; to utter gibberish or nonsense.
  2. (transitive) To utter rapidly or indistinctly; to gabble.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 12, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      She had Lord James' collar in one big fist and she pounded the table with the other and talked a blue streak. Nobody could make out plain what she said, for she was mainly jabbering Swede lingo, but there was English enough, of a kind, to give us some idee.
    • 1939, H. G. Wells, The Holy Terror, Book One, Chapter 1, Section 2,[2]
      He wept very little, but when he wept he howled aloud, and jabbered wild abuse, threats and recriminations through the wet torrent of his howling.


jabber (uncountable)

  1. Rapid or incoherent talk, with indistinct utterance; gibberish.
    • 1735, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, in The Works of Jonathan Swift, edited by George Faulkner, Dublin, 1735, Volume 3, A Letter from Capt. Gulliver to his Cousin Sympson, pp. v-vi,[3]
      And, is there less Probability in my Account of the Houyhnhnms or Yahoos, when it is manifest as to the latter, there are so many Thousands even in this City, who only differ from their Brother Brutes in Houyhnhnmland, because they use a Sort of a Jabber, and do not go naked.
    • 1918, Carl Sandburg, “Jabberers”, in Cornhuskers[4], New York: Henry Holt & Co, page 68:
      Two tongues from the depths,
      Alike only as a yellow cat and a green parrot are alike,
      Fling their staccato tantalizations
      Into a wildcat jabber
      Over a gossamer web of unanswerables.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From jab +‎ -er.


jabber (plural jabbers)

  1. One who or that which jabs.
    • 1939, Edwin L. Haislet, Boxing in Education, page 160:
      Have the boys box, one jabbing and the other practicing the methods of boxing a jabber.
  2. (informal) One who administers a hypodermic injection, especially of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. A kind of hand-operated corn planter.
    • 1999, Nicholas P. Hardeman, Across the Bloody Chasm:
      The jabber was the most popular hand-operated corn planter ever devised. [] Inset shows jaws closed for jabbing (left) and open for depositing kernels (right).
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Derived terms[edit]