Word of the Day

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

flibbertigibbet

\FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it\ , noun;
1.
A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities.
Quotes:
We discover here not the flibbertigibbet Connolly describes but a serious reader (Goethe, Tolstoy, Proust) who found her cultural ideal in 18th-century France.
-- Martin Stannard, "Enter Shrieking", New York Times, November 28, 1993
He argues persuasively that Millay's reputation has been harmed not only by academics who dread and fear her heartfelt "simplicity," but by the very admirers who wished to promote her as a kind of whimsical flibbertigibbet, a poetical Anne of Green Gables.
-- Liz Rosenberg, "So Young, So Good, So Popular", New York Times, March 15, 1992
That it was the Owenses who had got involved in this nonsense, rather than some flibbertigibbet johnny-come-latelies, counted for a lot, for the Owenses were respectable and respected.
-- Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean, The Graveyard Book
Origin:
Flibbertigibbet is from Middle English flipergebet, which is probably an imitation of the sound of meaningless chatter.
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