10 Words for Gossips and Chatterboxes

1. TONGUE-PAD

The word tongue-pad first appeared in English in the late 1600s, and was defined in A Dictionary of the Canting Crew in 1699 as “a smooth, glib-tongued, insinuating fellow.” That meaning had changed by the time it was added to Webster’s Dictionary in 1913, which defined it as “a great talker; a chatterbox.”

2. LANGUAGE

This word is derived, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, from an old French word, language, meaning “to talk abundantly.”

3. JANGLER

Long before it came to mean a jingling, clinking noise, the word jangle was used to mean “to talk excessively or noisily,” or “to dispute angrily.” It’s probably derived from an old French word meaning “to jeer” or “grumble,” and so a jangler was probably originally a constant, vocal complainer as much as a chatterer.

4. CLIPMALABOR

Clipmalabor is an old Scots word for gossip or a chatterbox, or according to the Scottish National Dictionary, “a senseless silly talker.” It’s a corruption of the earlier Scots word slip-ma-labor, which referred to a lazy slacker or idler who would literally let their work (i.e. their labor) “slip.” Ultimately, its original meaning was probably something along the lines of “someone who gossips while they should be working.”

5. BABBLE-MERCHANT

… an old English slang word, literally meaning “someone who sells nonsense noise.”

6. BLATHERSKITE

Blatherskite or blatherskite is a 17th-century word, probably originating in Scotland, that combines the verb blether or blather, meaning “to talk incessant nonsense,” and skite or skate, meaning “a sudden quick movement.”

7. BLATTEROON

Derived from bilateral, a Latin word meaning “to chatter” or “babble,” blatteroon or bathroom first appeared in English in the mid-1600s.

8. BLOVIATOR

Popularized by President Warren G. Harding (who probably picked it up from local Ohio slang in the late 19th century), the word bloviate is now taken to mean “to speak verbosely or long-windedly”­—and someone who does precisely that is a bloviator.

9. CLATTER

As a verb, you can use clatter to mean “to disclose secrets,” or “to chatter or gossip,” and clatter—alongside clatter and the next word on this list—are all derivatives of that.

10. CLATTERFART

According to one Tudor Latin-English dictionary from 1552, a clatterfart is someone who “will disclose any light secret.” In other words, a gossip or a blabbermouth.

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