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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CARB, CARBLE, Carb'l, Carbul, Cerb, v. and n.1 [kɑrb, kɑrb(ə)l, kɛrb]

1. v. “To cavil” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2, carb, carble); “to fret, wrangle, quarrel” (Sc. 1887 Jam.6, carb, cerb); to find fault (with). Vbl.n. carblin. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10 1938.Bch.(D) 1930 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 105:
Bit fin A carbul't wi' 'im, a' 'at 'e said wiz, “Weel, Sandy, A dinna like t' leave fat wid be met t' some peer thing.”
Fif. 1868 St Andrews Gaz. (24 Oct.): 
They were all quarrelling. . . . They were all carbling.
Fif. 1901 “G. Setoun” Skipper of Barncraig xviii.:
It's a foy, a foy, an' we're enjoyin oursels without carblin or argy-bargyin.

2. n. Wrangling (Bnff.2 1938); “a silly argument” (Abd.4 1929, carb'l).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 22:
The fouk in yon hoose keep an unco carb wee ane anither.

[Prob. a variation of Eng. carp, to talk querulously, to find fault. Carble = carb + frequentative suff. -le.]

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"Carb v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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