Oh, how time flies! We’re almost halfway through December and things only look to be getting busier. Whether you’re swamped with work or scrambling to get your Christmas shopping done, we’re glad you’ve found the time to check out this week’s edition of Wacky Word Wednesday on Simply CSOFT.
This week’s word is:
1. A chattering or flighty, light-headed person.
2. An irresponsible, silly, or gossipy person.
Flibbertigibbet first appeared in print in 1549 and is one of many incarnations of the Middle English word flepergebet, meaning gossip or chatterer. It is a word of onomatopoeic origin, created from sounds that were intended to represent meaningless chatter or fast talking.
In modern use, flibbertigibbet is a slang term for a gossipy or overly talkative person. The words babble, prattle, and chatter also originated as onomatopoeic attempts to imitate the sound of someone who simply won’t shut up. Although it is a gender-neutral word, in practice it is, and long has been, most often applied to women.
Now, the assumption that women are the biggest gossips is ingrained in our society. But did you know that a survey carried out by BMRB Research concludes that men are more likely to gossip than women? It found that 55% of men admitted to gossiping at work, compared to 46% of women. One in five men also said they spent at least three hours a day gossiping – mostly at work – with one in 10 admitting they like to “dish the dirt” on other people.
As usual, we’ve provided you with a few sentence examples:
- She plays a flibbertigibbet on the sitcom, but off the set, she is a no-nonsense woman in full control of her career and family. (Merriam-Webster)
- Actress Elizabeth Taylor urged voters in next week’s Democratic primaries to back Hillary Clinton’s White House run, saying in a statement released Friday that the New York senator was “not a flibbertijibbet.” (Elizabeth Taylor)
Flibbertigibbet has also appeared in the lyrics to the song “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” from The Sound of Music. So if you find it hard to remember this wacky word, you can learn the tune and improve your vocabulary at the same time. Have a great rest of the week and we’ll see you again soon!
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