• gobble •
Pronunciation: gah-bêl • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb
Meaning: 1. [Transitive] To eat very fast, voraciously, as to gobble up her food. 2. [Intransitive] To make the sound of a turkey.
Notes: Welcome to alphaDictionary's Thanksgiving Day Sale: two Good Words for the price of one! The turkey, that Thanksgiving staple of carnivores, only accidentally makes a sound resembling the word meaning "to devour" (see Word History). Both words have only native English forms: gobbling is either activity and a gobbler is man or bird that undertakes either type of gobbling.
In Play: We held this word back to the season when gobbler-gobblers gobble (recently) gobbling gobblers: "Don't gobble that gobbler, Junior, it might accelerate your growth." (I suspect that these are more examples than anyone needs, so let me get back to the Thanksgiving table.)
Word History: Gobble is the frequentative of Middle English gobben "to drink greedily", probably from gobbe "lump, mouthful" (gob today). Middle English probably borrowed the word from Old French gobe "mouthful", from gober "to gulp", of Celtic origin. The turkey's gobble gets its name, of course, from the sound that the turkey makes (onomatopoeia). Gobbledegook is a contribution of Representative Maury Maverick, whose grandfather gave us the word maverick. Rep. Maverick based the word gobbledygook on the behavior of turkeys back in Texas. According to him, they were "…always gobbledy-gobbling and strutting with ludicrous pomposity. At the end of this gobble there was a sort of gook."
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