One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally Theatre. Originally: the action of repeating the word ‘rhubarb’ to represent an indistinct conversation or the noise of a crowd in a theatrical production. Now also (more generally): indistinct conversation, mumbling.
Originally: (of an actor) that repeats the word ‘rhubarb’ so as to represent an indistinct conversation or the noise of a crowd. Now also more generally: speaking indistinctly; mumbling.
1940s (in an earlier sense). Probably partly from rhubarb + -ing, and partly from rhubarb + -ing<br>1970s; earliest use found in The Times. From rhubarb + -ing.
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