A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Gabble (verb)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 877

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 877

To Gábble. v.n. [gabbare, Italian; gabberen, Dutch.]

  1. To make an inarticulate noise.

            When thou could'st not, savage,
    Shew thine own meaning, but would'st gabble like
    A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes
    With words that made them known.
    Shakesp. Tempest.

    Flocks of fowl, that when the tempests roar,
    With their hoarse gabbling seek the silent shoar.
    Dryd. Æn.

  2. To prate loudly without meaning.

    Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an alehouse of my lady's house? Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    Which made some think, when he did gabble,
    Th' had heard three labourers of Babel.
    Hudibras, p. i.

    Such a rout, and such a rabble,
    Run to hear Jack Pudding gabble.
    Swift.

Sources: Butler, Samuel (98) · Dryden, John (788) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Tempest (50) · Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (36)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Gabble (verb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 4, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2341.


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