A Dictionary of the English Language
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Blab (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 248

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 248

To Blab. v.a. [blabberen, Dutch.]

  1. To tell what ought to be kept secret; it usually implies rather thoughtlessness than treachery; but may be used in either sense.

    The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day,
    Is crept into the bosom of the sea.
    Shakesp. Henry VI.

            Thy dues be done, and none left out,
    Ere the blabbing eastern scout
    The nice morn on the Indian steep,
    From her cabin'd loophole peep.

    Nature has made man's breast no windores,
    To publish what he does within doors;
    Nor what dark secrets there inhabit,
    Unless his own rash folly blab it.
    Hudribras, p. ii. c. ii.

    Sorrow nor joy can be disguis'd by art,
    Our foreheads blab the secret of our heart.
    Dryden's Juv.

    It is unlawful to give any kind of religious worship to a creature; but the very indices of the fathers cannot escape the index expurgatorious, for blabbing so great a truth. Stillingfleet.

    Nor whisper to the tattling reeds
    The blackest of all female deeds;
    Nor blab it on the lonely rocks,
    Where echo sits, and list'ning mocks.

  2. To tell; in a good sense.

    That delightful engine of her thoughts,
    That blabb'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
    Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage.
    Shakesp. Titus Andronicus.

Sources: Butler, Samuel (98) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2 (49) · Milton, John (449) · Stillingfleet, Edward (37) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (16)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Verb Active (289)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Blab (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 23, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/blab-verb-active/.

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