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Reduplication of scamble (to move about pushing and jostling, struggle for place or possession, scramble; to mangle). The term was popularized by William Shakespeare’s use of it in the play Henry IV, Part 1 (c. 1597): see the quotation.



skimble-skamble (not comparable)

  1. Confused, chaotic, disorderly, senseless.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:absurd

Alternative forms[edit]



skimble-skamble (uncountable)

  1. Gibberish, mumbo-jumbo, nonsense.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:nonsense
    • 1818 June 1, Lord Byron, Thomas Moore, “Letter CCCXVII. To Mr Moore.”, in Letters and Journals of Lord Byron: [], volume II, Paris: Published by A[nthony] and W[illiam] Galignani, [], published 1830, →OCLC, page 287, column 1:
      Did you read his skimble-skamble about * * being at the head of his own profession, in the eyes of those who followed it?
    • 1997 September 4, Sopon Onkgara, “One man, one draft, lots of gibberish”, in The Nation, Bangkok: Nation Pub. Group, →OCLC, page A4, column 3:
      None of the questions directed at Chavalit [Yongchaiyudh] were serious enough to make him think before he delivered his beat-around-the-bush response. He put the nation in deep shame – again – with his unenlightened skimble-skamble.


Further reading[edit]