gibberish


gibberish
gibberish, mummery, hocus-pocus, abracadabra are comparable as terms of contempt applied to something which is in itself unintelligible or meaningless to the person concerned. They are often used interchangeably but are not true synonyms.
Gibberish suggests language; it is applied especially to inarticulate but expressive sounds or attempts at speech
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a baby's gibberish

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When applied to articulate but unintelligible utterance it may imply a low-grade or disordered intelligence in the speaker, or it may suggest jargon. One or more of these implications is carried over when the word is used to express contempt
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I have often warned you not to talk the court gibberish to me— Fielding

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I've endured just about enough gibberish about the modern woman, how she complicates her life, has sacrificed her femininity and competes in a man's world— McAuliffe

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Mummery suggests not language but actions uninterpreted by words (as in the old dumb shows). As a term of derogation, however, it is applied chiefly to rites, proceedings, and performances which, whether or not accompanied by words, appear theatrical and ridiculous as well as meaningless to the observer
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it was hardly worthwhile for a Protestant to have stripped off the mummeries of Rome in order to fall a victim to an agile young man in a ten-foot mask— Graves

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the mummery and ceremonial of modern life— W. P. Webb

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Hocus-pocus suggests jugglery and incantations. Sometimes, in its extended use, the stress is placed upon tricks intended to mystify or confuse, sometimes upon empty but impressive-sounding words
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the potency of movies depends upon the quality of their dramatic articulation, not upon the working of hocus-pocus on the eyes— Crow the r

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denounced dialectics—that curious heritage from Hegelian philosophy which Marx adopted and adapted for his own thought—as meaningless hocus-pocusA. G. Meyer

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Abracadabra basically applies to a magical formula or a mystical figure and in extended use is applied chiefly to discourse and implies not only its unintelligibility and formulism but its complete unfitness for the ends it proposes to achieve
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psychology is either true knowledge concerning the spiritual nature of man'or it is moonshine and abracadabraMurry

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gibberish — is a generic term in English for talking that sounds like speech, but has 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… …   Wikipedia

  • gibberish — gib ber*ish (j[i^]b b[ e]r*[i^]sh or g[i^]b b[ e]r*[i^]sh), n. [From {Gibber}, v. i.] 1. Rapid and inarticulate talk; unintelligible language; unmeaning words. [1913 Webster] He, like a gypsy, oftentimes would go; All kinds of gibberish he had… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gibberish — Gib ber*ish, a. Unmeaning; as, gibberish language. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gibberish — index jargon (unintelligible language) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • gibberish — 1550s, imitative of the sound of chatter, probably influenced by JABBER (Cf. jabber). Used early 17c. of the language of rogues and gypsies …   Etymology dictionary

  • gibberish — [n] nonsense talk babble, balderdash*, blah blah*, blather, chatter, claptrap*, double talk*, drivel, gobbledygook*, hocuspocus*, jabber*, jargon, mumbo jumbo*, palaver*, prattle, scat*, twaddle*, yammer*; concept 278 Ant. sense …   New thesaurus

  • gibberish — ► NOUN ▪ unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense …   English terms dictionary

  • gibberish — [jib′ər ish] n. [< GIBBER] rapid and incoherent talk; unintelligible chatter; jargon …   English World dictionary

  • gibberish — [[t]ʤɪ̱bərɪʃ[/t]] N UNCOUNT If you describe someone s words or ideas as gibberish, you mean that they do not make any sense. When he was talking to a girl he could hardly speak, and when he did speak he talked gibberish. Syn: nonsense …   English dictionary

  • gibberish — gib|ber|ish [ˈdʒıbərıʃ] n [U] [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from gibber] something you write or say that has no meaning, or is very difficult to understand = ↑nonsense ▪ You re talking gibberish ! …   Dictionary of contemporary English