Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small mass or lump.
  • n. Informal A large quantity. Often used in the plural: a gob of money; gobs of time.
  • n. Slang The mouth.
  • n. Slang A sailor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lump of soft or sticky material.
  • n. The mouth.
  • n. Saliva or phlegm.
  • n. A sailor.
  • n. Waste material in old mine workings, goaf.
  • v. To gather into a lump.
  • v. To spit, especially to spit phlegm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as goaf.
  • n. A little mass or collection; a small quantity; a mouthful.
  • n. The mouth.
  • n. Same as sailor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In coal-mining, to pack away refuse so as to get rid of it and at the same time to help to keep the workings from caving in.
  • To brag; boast.
  • n. The mouth.
  • n. A mouthful; hence, a little mass or collection; a dab; a lump.
  • n. In coal-mining, the refuse or waste material from the workings in a mine; attle. It is used to pack the goaves, so as to support the roof.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. informal terms for the mouth
  • n. a lump of slimy stuff
  • n. a man who serves as a sailor

Etymologies

Middle English gobbe, probably from Old French gobe, mouthful, from gober, to gulp, of Celtic origin.
Perhaps from Scottish and Irish Gaelic.
Probably shortening of earlier gobshite, wad of expectorated chewing tobacco, sailor; see gobshite.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Irish and/or Scottish Gaelic gob ("beak, bill"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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    July 8, 2009

  • "I found myself herded against a brick wall as they kept on spitting - on my face, my hair, my clothes, my arms. It was like rain, coming at me from all directions - hitting my recorder, my bag, my shoes, even my glasses. Big gobs of spit landed on me like heavy raindrops. I could even smell it as it fell on my face."
    - Anne Barker, Reporter feels mob's hate in the Holy City, abc.net.au, 6 July 2009.

    July 8, 2009

  • Here's what the Online Etymological Dictionary says:

    "a mouthful, lump," c.1382, from O.Fr. gobe "mouthful, lump," from gober "gulp, swallow down," probably from Gaul. *gobbo- (cf. Ir. gob "mouth," Gael. gob "beak"). This Celtic source also seems to be root of gob "mouth" (c.1550), which is the first element in gob-stopper "a kind of large hard candy" (1928).

    August 15, 2008

  • And what of the English etmology? Anything to do with gobble? Or gab?

    Also UK slang for spit (noun and verb) or phlegm. E.g. 'Terry gobbed at me, so I lamped him.' or 'Watch it! You almost stepped in that lad's gob on the ground there'.

    August 14, 2008

  • British slang for "mouth". Curiously, the Slovene word for an animal's mouth (normally translated as "muzzle", "snout", etc.), which is also used as a rather crude word for a person's mouth, is gobec, pronounced GOH-bets. Despite the similarity with the British word, there seems to be no etymological connection, as the Slovene word has a long Slavic pedigree and is related to the Russian word for "lip" (губа – guba) and the Slovene word for "mushroom" (goba), deriving, probably, from a root gǫb-, meaning "protuberance".

    August 14, 2008

  • "In the first few days the dice usually had me express freely my own feelings toward my patients - to break, in effect, the cardinal rule of all psychotherapy: do not judge. I began overtly condemning every shabby little weakness I could find in my sniveling, cringing patients. Great gob of God, that was fun. If you remember that for four years I had been acting like a saint, understanding, forgiving and accepting all sorts of human folly, cruelty and nonsense; that I had been thus repressing every normal reactive impulse, you can imagine the joy with which I responded to the dice letting me call my patients sadists, idiots, bastards, sluts, cowards and latent cretins. Joy. I had found another island of joy."
    - 'The Dice Man', Luke Rhinehart.

    February 1, 2008