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babber definition


This page has 3 definitions of babber in English. Babber is a noun. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



Etymology 1

Probably a modification of baby: compare babby (baby) (Britain, dialectal).[1]


babber (plural babbers) (West Country, chiefly Bristol, informal)

  1. A baby.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:baby
    • 2014, Anna Freeman, chapter 23, in The Fair Fight, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, →ISBN, part 10 (Ruth), page 403:
      We began the business of settling in. Tom took to watching over the babber, when it wasn't getting its milk.
    • 2014 January 28, “Not yet Walking, but Definitely Talking / A Trip to Bristol Zoo”, in Dad’s Diary[1], archived from the original on 4 March 2016:
      That babber of mine has been starting to talk lately and this morning when he saw me he said "da da da" very clearly! Proud moment.
  2. A friend.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:friend
    • 2012, Robert Andrews; Keith Drew, “Bristol and around”, in The Rough Guide to Bath, Bristol and Somerset: Includes Salisbury and Stonehenge, London: Rough Guides, →ISBN, page 82:
      Ow bis me babber? [] How's it going?
    • 2012, Lawrence Dallaglio, “Taken for a Ride: Mark Regan”, in More Blood, Sweat and Beers: World Cup Rugby Tales, London: Simon & Schuster, →ISBN:
      In the 2007 World Cup quarter-final against Australia, Andy Sheridan almost destroyed Aussie prop Matt Dunning in the first scrum, and as they broke up Andy was heard to say, “And you've got another seventy-nine minutes of f****** agony to look forward to, my babber.”
    • 2018, Ruby Reynolds, The Spark Girl’s Promise[2], London: Orion Books, →ISBN:
      Look, babber, I reckon there's been some sort of mistake. I'm not carrying on with nobody.
    • 2022 May, A. Siddiqui, “Preppin’ of Our Own!”, in Ripping Off of the Thievery! [], Delhi, India: BlueRose One, →ISBN, page 93:
      'Sir, I'm going to end this call …' / 'Come on babber … Honey baby!'
Derived terms
Related terms

Etymology 2

From bab (to fish for eels using a bab (bundle of live worms)) +‎ -er (suffix denoting persons or things that do actions indicated by [the specified verbs]); the further etymology of bab is uncertain.


babber (plural babbers)

  1. (East Anglia, fishing) A fisherman using babs (baits consisting of bundles of live worms) to catch eels.
    • 1868 September, “The Norfolk Broads”, in Anthony Trollope, editor, Saint Pauls. A Monthly Magazine, volume II, London: Virtue and Co., [], OCLC 4711595, page 724:
      Another way of taking eels, and by far the more ingenious, is that known as "babbing," or "bobbing." A series of large worms are strung on cobbler's worsted and coiled into a knot. [] I have known a couple of "babbers" to take as many as four or five stone of eels in a single night.
    • 1876 February, Saxon [pseudonym], “A Night’s Babbing”, in The Guernsey Magazine: A Monthly Illustrated Journal of Information, Instruction, & Entertainment, volume IV, number 2, Guernsey: F. Clarke, [], OCLC 927033209, column 1:
      It was pretty, too, to watch the lights in the town going out one by one, until, to borrow from Gray again, the world was left to darkness and to me, and the other eel-babbers.
    • 1884, G[eorge] Christopher Davies, “About Eels”, in Norfolk Broads and Rivers: Or The Water-ways, Lagoons, and Decoys of East Anglia, new edition, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 370635, pages 243–244:
      The babbers follow the eels, and you may see fifteen boats as close together as possible, babbing away, and catching as much as four stone-weight of eels per boat of a night.
    • 1891 June 26 (date written), P[eter] H[enry] Emerson, “Log of the ‘Maid of the Mist.’ September 15, 1890, to August 31, 1891.”, in On English Lagoons: Being an Account of the Voyage of Two Amateur Wherrymen on the Norfolk and Suffolk Rivers and Broads [], London: David Nutt, [], published 1893, OCLC 12342169, page 295:
      Get a few eels babbing; a babber close by caught 1¼ lb. tench on his bab.


  1. ^ Joseph Wright, editor (1898), “BABBY, sb.”, in The English Dialect Dictionary: [], volume I (A–C), London: Henry Frowde, [], publisher to the English Dialect Society, []; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, OCLC 81937840, page 107, column 2.