This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Thing To Do Today: yabber.

You know the idea that animals develop similar features if they have to make a living from the same sort of environment?

Kangaroos and deer, for instance, have quite similar grass-nibbling heads even though they're not even forty-fifth cousins.

Well, words can be a bit like that, and yabber is a rather lovely example.

Yabber is a fabulous Australian word which means talk, or, as we've been saying in English since the 1400s, jabber

Yabber can be used either to describe the action of having a yabber, or the talk itself.

Yabber and jabber. Is the similarity a coincidence? Well, I doubt it, though the words don't seem to be any more related than deer and kangaroos.

But still, the thing is, do we want to yabber? Isn't it a bore when someone starts yabbering on?

Well, sometimes. But in a word of computers I'm beginning to think of it as more and more of a luxury, and so personally I find I'm all for it.

Yabba dabba doo!

Thing To Do Today: yabber. The chances are that this word comes from the Australian native Wuywurung language, in which yaba means to speak.

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