Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Rapid or casual talk; chatter.
  • intransitive verb To talk or converse rapidly or casually.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To talk unintelligibly; jabber: said of the Australian aborigines.
  • noun The language or talk of the Australian aborigines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Australia, New Zealand To talk, jabber.

Etymologies

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

[From Australian pidgin, probably from a source in the Pama-Nyungan languages of southeast Australia such as Wiradhuri ya-, to talk (perhaps influenced by English jabber).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Most likely a modification of the Wuywurung yaba, ("speak"). Dated to 1855.

Examples

  • A word attributed to Wuywurung is the Australian slang term yabber 'talk,' which is probably from Wuywurung yaba 'speak'; another possibility is mia-mia, a synonym for gunyah 'a temporary shelter of the Aborigines, usu. a simple frame of branches covered with bark, leaves, or grass,' about which you can read in exhaustive detail here:In the Australian National Dictionary 1988 we are told that it comes from Wathawurung and Wuywurung.

    languagehat.com: JINDYWOROBAK.

  • Law, "And your Petitioners will ever Pray," and all that kind of yabber-yabber -- they give its representative the lazy side of the fire and a fig of the best tobacco when he bails up a camp as the Cadi did ours.

    Cumner's Son and Other South Sea Folk — Complete

  • Petitioners will ever Pray, "and all that kind of yabber-yabber -- they give its representative the lazy side of the fire and a fig of the best tobacco when he bails up a camp as the Cadi did ours.

    The Project Gutenberg Complete Works of Gilbert Parker

  • Drysdale took up the strain: "Yes, Cadi, you've got the true missionary gospel, the kind of yabber they fire at each other over tea and buns at

    The Project Gutenberg Complete Works of Gilbert Parker

  • Petitioners will ever Pray, "and all that kind of yabber-yabber -- they give its representative the lazy side of the fire and a fig of the best tobacco when he bails up a camp as the Cadi did ours.

    Cumner's Son and Other South Sea Folk — Volume 02

  • Drysdale took up the strain: "Yes, Cadi, you've got the true missionary gospel, the kind of yabber they fire at each other over tea and buns at

    Cumner's Son and Other South Sea Folk — Complete

  • Drysdale took up the strain: "Yes, Cadi, you've got the true missionary gospel, the kind of yabber they fire at each other over tea and buns at

    Cumner's Son and Other South Sea Folk — Volume 02

  • To make this seem exciting, they'd yabber that "the net" was "closing", or read out exhaustive lists of how many the guns the police had.

    Charlie Brooker's Screen burn: The news

  • We all get a chance to stand on our soapboxes and yabber on about whatever strikes our fancy, yet we are also happy to spend the time reading what others have to say and discussing what's on their minds with them too.

    Bloggers are Great People

  • We all get a chance to stand on our soapboxes and yabber on about whatever strikes our fancy, yet we are also happy to spend the time reading what others have to say and discussing what's on their minds with them too.

    Archive 2009-01-01

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