jabber

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Imitative.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

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.
    • 1829, James Hogg, The Shepherd’s Calendar, New York: A.T. Goodrich, Volume I, Chapter 9, “Mary Burnet,” p. 184,[1]
      Allanson made some sound in his throat, as if attempting to speak, but his tongue refused its office, and he only jabbered.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 19,[2]
      “What are you jabbering about, shipmate?” said I.
  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,[3]
      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.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

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,[4]
      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, New York: Henry Holt & Co., p. 68,[5]
      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.

Translations[edit]