screaming abdabs

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Alternative forms[edit]


screaming abdabs pl (plural only)

  1. (Britain) A state of extreme nervousness.
    • 1959: Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, page 34
      ...not noticing the sud smells anymore or belts over my head that gave me the screaming ab-dabs when I first came in the factory at fifteen...
    • 1971, New Scientist, page 80, by the EBSCO Publishing Firm,
      Meanwhile, down the road a piece, another British firm has had an attack of the abdabs.
    • 1986: Anthony Burgess, The Pianoplayers, page 201
      ... Robert played all the time on his dummy keyboard and it drove Edna near mad, gave her the screaming abdabs as she put it.
    • 2003: Marian Babson, The Cat Who Wasn't a Dog
      ‘This place doesn't ‘aif give me the screaming ‘abdabs.’ ‘And how!’ I agreed. All those small creatures that had once vibrated with life, now frozen ...
    • 2004: Mary Stewart, This Rough Magic
      It's a nice night, and I’da darned sight rather take a walk out than see you work yourself into a fit of the screaming abdabs. I don't blame you, ...