One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A young unfledged pigeon.
- ‘They taught me to raise pigeon squabs in the barns and farm and I hunted rabbit.’
- ‘Did you know, baby doves are actually called squabs, which is a horrible word.’
- ‘Young squabs stretched their legs and body and flapped their wings vigorously.’
- ‘When they discovered that all the local homing pigeons were booked up, they bought 80 squabs from a poultry market in Newark, N.J.’
- 1.1mass noun The flesh of young pigeon as food.‘roast squab’
- ‘It offers dozens of tapas-style selections, from clams stuffed with fresh garlic and a mackerel tart with Parmesan and olives to squab stuffed with foîe gras and cabbage.’
- ‘Pixie's squab with roast vegetables and rosti was outstanding: pigeon is difficult to cook right, but her squab was done to perfection.’
- ‘Remove from the heat and transfer the squab to the prepared roasting rack.’
- ‘Spoon some of the diced squab and pigeon breast meat into six soup bowls.’
- ‘Award-winning chef Eyck Zimmer serves up modern European cuisine, with delicious dishes such as roast squab or crayfish risotto.’
2British The padded back or side of a vehicle seat.
- ‘That centre front seat slides all the way back until it hits the rear-seat squab, so a child can still sit ‘in the front’, but remains sufficiently rearward not to be hit by an airbag designed to restrain an adult.’
- ‘And thanks to longer squabs the seats were more comfortable; a relief to those who may have driven the Terrano perhaps!’
- ‘Electric seat adjusters are usually on the side of the seat squab.’
- 2.1 A thick stuffed cushion, especially one covering the seat of a chair or sofa.
(of a person) short and fat.‘a squab, square-featured personage’
- ‘His eyes were large, his figure short and squab.’
Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘inexperienced person’): of unknown origin; compare with obsolete quab ‘shapeless thing’ and Swedish dialect skvabba ‘fat woman’.
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