One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Speak rapidly and unintelligibly, typically through fear or shock.‘they shrieked and gibbered as flames surrounded them’‘a gibbering idiot’
prattle, rattle on, chatter, babble, ramble, drivel, jabber, patter, gabble, bumble, burble, twitter, flannel, go on, run on, mutter, mumble, maunder, prate, bleat, cackleView synonyms
- ‘The scientists gibbered amongst themselves, all unusually excited.’
- ‘But now I'm jumping up and down in my seat, gibbering like a chimp.’
- ‘Somehow, it left me almost gibbering with fear.’
- ‘He scuttled off, gibbering with delight, to make it habitable.’
- ‘The day will come, soon enough, when I'm gibbering, and incoherent, but right now I'm in control and I don't want anyone else to know.’
- ‘He sways before the roaring inferno, blind and gibbering.’
- ‘The doctor, who can understand Hungarian, realised that the inmate was rambling and gibbering not in Russian but in Hungarian, which is not a Slavonic language.’
- ‘He was led, gibbering, by his mum into the stark light of a side exit.’
- ‘He gibbered madly and his muscles spasmed, and he sunk to his knees in the muddy trench, his heart pumping his blood out into the soil.’
- ‘They're always gibbering and fighting - it can get to be too much for me to handle.’
- ‘After a minute of two of stalking around the room, shaking and gibbering, I started looking around to see what had become of the chemical.’
- ‘‘Yes, yes,’ the man gibbered, suddenly regaining his voice.’
- ‘Before Andrew could answer, the red light flicked off and a doctor came out, gibbering away in Japanese.’
- ‘And all the time the two old girls are gibbering softly in language, laughing.’
- ‘They restrained the man as he writhed and gibbered.’
- ‘They disappeared into the crowded room, gibbering good-naturedly.’
- ‘He spent the next day literally gibbering in his cell, while those in neighbouring cells threatened to kill him, because he had now kept them awake for three nights.’
- ‘Before I get to the part where I start gibbering and spluttering, I should begin by doing what I can manage coherently.’
- ‘A man in the middle of a particularly nasty nervous breakdown is gibbering.’
- ‘By this stage I wasn't babbling, more like gibbering.’
Early 17th century: imitative.
1A stone or boulder forming part of a boulder plain.
- ‘We're standing on a desert rise six kilometres north of town overlooking a sea of shining gibbers.’
- 1.1 Any small stone.
From Dharuk giba ‘stone’.
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