When someone is talking in a way that doesn’t make sense to you, is using specialist jargon, is speaking a foreign language you don’t know, or is using made-up words, you might say they’re talking gibberish.

Other words for gibberish include gobbledygook, claptrap, jibber, jabber, jibber-jabber, folderol, twaddle, hogwash, bunkum, blabla, humbug, mumbo-jumbo, jargon, babble, double Dutch and nonsense [source].

Gibberish is possibly onomatopoeic in origin, imitating to the sound of chatter, or from the the Irish word gob (mouth) [source].

In French equivalents of gibberish include charabia, galimatias, amphigouri, blabla and foutaise. To talk gibberish is dire du charabia, baragouiner or bredouiller [source].

You can hear a bit of gobbledygook in the latest episode of the Radio Omniglot Podcast, which I recorded yesterday, and edited today. My friends and I sometimes talk in gobbledygook just for a laugh. Maybe I should add a page about it to Omniglot.

Do you know any other words of gibberish in English or other languages?

One thought on “Gibberish

  1. In my dialect of Plautdietsch, we might say someone is speaking “/ˈlɪŋvaʃ/ if they’re speaking gibberish, which comes from the Lengua people, which live in the same part of the Chaco as the Mennonites

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *