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1. Unintelligible or nonsensical talk or writing.
a. Highly technical or esoteric language.
b. Unnecessarily pretentious or vague language.

[Probably from gibber + -ish.]


1. rapid chatter like that of monkeys
2. incomprehensible talk; nonsense


(ˈdʒɪb ər ɪʃ, ˈgɪb-)

1. meaningless or unintelligible talk or writing; nonsense.
2. talk or writing containing many obscure, pretentious, or technical words.
[1545–55; appar. gibber + -ish1]



abracadabra See MAGIC.

Dutch Unintelligible gibberish, meaningless talk or writing; also, double Dutch; often in the phrase it’s Dutch to me. The allusion is probably to the meaningless jumble of sounds any foreign language seems to those who do not understand it. High Dutch was apparently the oldest variant of this expression since it appeared in the earliest OED citation from 1789; however, Dutch and double Dutch are the only forms in use today. An illustration of the use of this term is found in Charles Had-don Spurgeon’s Sermons (1879):

The preacher preaches double Dutch or Greek, or something of the sort.

Greek Gibberish, unintelligible or meaningless language; usually in the phrase it’s Greek to me. The allusion is most likely to the unintelligible and senseless sound of any foreign language to those who do not understand it. The expression dates from about 1600; it is found in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:

But, for my own part, it was Greek to me. (I, ii)

mumbo jumbo Meaningless chanting and ritual; nonsensical or pretentious language. This expression evolved as an English rendering for the African deity Mama Dyumbo, whom the Mandingo tribes venerated with mystical rites incomprehensible to the European explorers. The expression is now frequently used to describe senseless or ostentatious language contrived to obscure a topic or befuddle the listener.

A mumbo jumbo of meaningless words and phrases. (Times, May, 1955)

ubble-gubble Nonsensical talk, drivel, prattle. This uncommon expression, perhaps derived as a rendering of inarticulate vocalizations, appeared in W. B. Johnson’s Widening Stain (1942).

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gibberish - unintelligible talkinggibberish - unintelligible talking    
hokum, meaninglessness, nonsense, nonsensicality, bunk - a message that seems to convey no meaning
abracadabra - gibberish and nonsense
babble, babbling, lallation - gibberish resembling the sounds of a baby
blather, blatherskite - foolish gibberish
double Dutch - an incomprehensible talk
double talk - deliberately unintelligible gibberish
gabble, jabber, jabbering - rapid and indistinct speech
mumbo jumbo - language or ritual causing, or intending to cause, confusion


noun nonsense, balls (taboo slang), bull (slang), shit (taboo slang), crap (slang), garbage (informal), jargon, bullshit (taboo slang), hot air (informal), tosh (slang, chiefly Brit.), babble, pap, cobblers (Brit. taboo slang), bilge (informal), drivel, twaddle, tripe (informal), guff (slang), prattle, mumbo jumbo, moonshine, jabber, gabble, gobbledegook (informal), hogwash, hokum (slang, chiefly U.S. & Canad.), blather, double talk, piffle (informal), all Greek (informal), poppycock (informal), balderdash, bosh (informal), yammer (informal), eyewash (informal), tommyrot, horsefeathers (U.S. slang), bunkum or buncombe (chiefly U.S.) When he did speak to her, he spoke gibberish.


2. Unintelligible or nonsensical talk or language:
3. Esoteric, formulaic, and often incomprehensible speech relating to the occult:
بَرْبَرَه، رَطانَه
badarságérthetetlen beszédzagyvaság
òvaîur, bull
anlamsız sözlersaçma


[ˈdʒɪbərɪʃ] Ngalimatías m inv, guirigay m


[ˈdʒɪbərɪʃ] ncharabia m
to talk gibberish → bredouiller


nQuatsch m (inf); (= foreign language, baby’s gibberish)Kauderwelsch nt


[ˈdʒɪbərɪʃ] nparole fpl senza senso


(ˈdʒibə) verb
to make meaningless noises. He was gibbering with fear.
ˈgibberish (-riʃ) noun
nonsense. His explanations are just gibberish to me.
References in classic literature ?
Pearl mumbled something into his ear that sounded, indeed, like human language, but was only such gibberish as children may be heard amusing themselves with by the hour together.
and thus an old idolator at heart, he yet lived among these Christians, wore their clothes, and tried to talk their gibberish.
Merlin was still burning smoke-powders, and pawing the air, and muttering gibberish as hard as ever, but looking pretty down-hearted, for of course he had not started even a perspiration in that well yet.
Back of those men's time the English are just simply foreigners, nothing more, nothing less; they talk Danish, German, Norman French, and sometimes a mixture of all three; back of THEM, they talk Latin, and ancient British, Irish, and Gaelic; and then back of these come billions and billions of pure savages that talk a gibberish that Satan himself couldn't understand.
An American sailor, who was cast away on the shore of Africa, where he was kept in slavery for three years, was, at the expiration of that period, found to be imbruted and stultified--he had lost all reasoning power; and having forgotten his native language, could only ut- ter some savage gibberish between Arabic and Eng- lish, which nobody could understand, and which even he himself found difficulty in pronouncing.
We crowded round, and over Miss Cathy's head I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child; big enough both to walk and talk: indeed, its face looked older than Catherine's; yet when it was set on its feet, it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish that nobody could understand.
Dickon always spoke it to the robin himself, so the queer gibberish he used when he spoke to humans did not matter in the least.
I suppose the reader never makes nonsense rhymes from sheer gladness of heart,--nursery doggerel to keep time with the rippling of the stream, or the dancing of the sun, or the beating of his heart; the gibberish of delight.
All this was Greek or gibberish to the peasants, but not so to the students, who very soon perceived the crack in Don Quixote's pate; for all that, however, they regarded him with admiration and respect, and one of them said to him, "If you, sir knight, have no fixed road, as it is the way with those who seek adventures not to have any, let your worship come with us; you will see one of the finest and richest weddings that up to this day have ever been celebrated in La Mancha, or for many a league round.
He suddenly left the cabin, and I heard him in violent controversy with some one, who seemed to me to talk gibberish in response to him.
All this was gibberish to Clara Caverly, who understood the phrases, notwithstanding, quite as well as the friend who was using them.
To Lady Arabella it sounded mere gibberish, but it was in his own dialect, and meant love, marriage, wife.