flibbertigibbet was our Word of the Day on 03/13/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of flibbertigibbet in a Sentence
forced to endure a long flight with a flibbertigibbet as a seat companion
Recent Examples of flibbertigibbet from the Web
Warning: The book has my three-year-old calling her grandmother a flibbertigibbet.
And never mind that its mother is a flibbertigibbet who has no business having a baby.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flibbertigibbet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Flibbertigibbet is one of many incarnations of the Middle English word flepergebet, meaning "gossip" or "chatterer." (Others include "flybbergybe," "flibber de' Jibb," and "flipperty-gibbet.") It is a word of onomatopoeic origin, created from sounds that were intended to represent meaningless chatter. Shakespeare apparently saw a devilish aspect to a gossipy chatterer; he used "flibbertigibbet" in King Lear as the name of a devil. This use never caught on, but the devilish connotation of the word reappeared over 200 years later when Sir Walter Scott used "Flibbertigibbet" as the nickname of an impish urchin in the novel Kenilworth. The impish meaning derived from Scott's character was short-lived and was laid to rest by the 19th-century's end, leaving us with only the "silly flighty person" meaning.
Origin and Etymology of flibbertigibbet
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
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