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definitions - gibberish

gibberish (n.)

1.nonsense"I think that is a load of cobblers"

2.unintelligible talking

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Merriam Webster

GibberishGib"ber*ish, a. Unmeaning; as, gibberish language.

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Wikipedia

Gibberish

                   

Gibberish (sometimes spelled Jibberish) is a generic term in English for talking that sounds like speech, but carries no actual meaning. This meaning has also been extended to meaningless text or gobbledygook. The common theme in gibberish statements is a lack of literal sense, which can be described as a presence of nonsense. One of the more famous examples of using gibberish in literature is the poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll.

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  Etymology

One etymology asserts it is derived from the root of the Irish word gob or gab (mouth), which the same source asserts is the root of jabber, gibber and gobble.[1] The word may derive from the word "jabber" ("to talk nonsense"), with the "-ish" suffix to signify a language; alternatively, the term gibberish may derive from the eclectic mix of English, Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi and Arabic spoken in the British territory of Gibraltar (from Arabic Gabal-Tariq, meaning Mountain of Tariq), which is unintelligible to non-natives.

Another etymology links it directly to the Irish term Geab ar ais (pron. g'ab er'ash), gab ar ais (pron. gab er'ash), back talk, backward chat; fig. back-slanged speech. Gab, (gaelic), n., to chat or talk a lot. Geab (pron. g'ab) n., chat. (Donegal.) Geabaire, n., a chatterer or blabberer. Ar ais (pron. er ash), back; backwards. [2] However, this Irish etymology was suggested by Daniel Cassidy, whose work has been widely criticised by reputable linguists and scholars. The terms geab and geabaire are certainly Irish words but the phrase "geab ar ais" does not exist, and the word gibberish exists as a loan-word in Irish as gibiris, defined by Ó Dónaill as "Gibberish. Gibiris chainte - unintelligible speech". (Ó Dónaill, Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, 630). Thus like many of Cassidy's derivations, this proposed explanation appears quite improbable.


The term was first seen in English in the early 16th century.[3] Another theory is that the word comes from the name of the famous 8th-century Islamic alchemist Jābir ibn Hayyān, whose name was Latinized as "Geber", thus the term "gibberish" arose as a reference to the incomprehensible technical jargon often used by Jabir and other alchemists who followed.[4]

  Usage

Utilizing gibberish whilst acting can be used as an exercise in performance art education.[5]

  See also

  References

  1. ^ Mackay, Charles A Glossary of Obscure Words and Phrases in the Writings of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, pp. 183-184, S. Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1887
  2. ^ Cassidy, Daniel 'A Dictionary of Irish-American Vernacular' in How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads; Counterpunch and AK Press 2007, pp. 155-156; ISBN 978-1-904859-60-4
  3. ^ Chantrell, Glynnis (2002). The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 231. ISBN 0-19-863121-9. 
  4. ^ Seaborg, Glenn T. (March 1980). "Our heritage of the elements". Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B (Springer Boston) 11 (1): 5–19 
  5. ^ Improvisation for the theater: a handbook of teaching and directing techniques. Viola Spolin. 1999.

  Further reading

  External links


   
               

 

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