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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GOB, n.1, v.1 Also gub. Dim. gobbie, gubbie. [gɔb, gʌb]

I. n. 1. The mouth; the beak (of a bird) (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Uls. 1924 North. Whig (2 Jan.), gub; Mry., Ags., m. and s.Sc., Uls. 1954). Hence fig., the opening or “mouth” of a receptacle, e.g. a basket (Crm. 1911) and, by synecdoche, a fledgling (Ags. 1954, gob, gubbie). Also in Eng. (mainly n.) dial. and in slang.Sc. 1836 M. Scott Tom Cringle (1854) i.:
I thrust half a doubled up muffin into my gob, but it was all chew chew, and no swallow.
Gsw. 1838 A. Rodger Poems 249:
Creesh our loofs, and gust our gobs, An' dink us braw.
Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (30 Nov.) 9:
“Ye didna ken that I wis a bit o' an artist mysel?” quo I, haudin' up my gobbie till's een.
Rxb. 1912 Rymour Club Misc. II. 47:
His visage was thrawn, and as black as a coal, As he opened his gob with unyirthly-like yolle.
Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're a' Coortin 31:
A shut gub mak's mair freens than dis an open mooth.
Rnf. 1947 J. F. Hendry Fernie Brae ii. i.:
“Shut yer gub!” shouted his father.
wm.Sc. 1954 Robin Jenkins The Thistle and the Grail (1994) 208:
Then from Turk's corner came a growl. "Will yous eedjits shut your gubs? I was listening to Sam. You go on, Sam. Tell us what the young bloke's going to say."
Gsw. 1984 James Kelman The Busconductor Hines 61:
What I mean is I apologise because I've had to speak first since under normal circumstances you would've been yapping like fuck for the past 43 years; instead of that here you are finding yourself in the unnatural position of keeping the gub shut at all costs because of certain events of an unhappy nature which took place at a recent friendly gathering in the local hostelry ya bastard ye I'm sorry, honest.
Edb. 1994 Gordon Legge I Love Me (Who Do You Love?) 59:
Sure some of them had only just grown out of being kids but there were certain faces you could pick out and take a real serious dislike to, certain faces you could just walk right up to and just smack right in the gub.
m.Sc. 1996 Christopher Brookmyre Quite Ugly One Morning (1997) 147:
'Underground parking, centrally located office spaces, very exclusive residential development ... whatever. Except that the deal's off if some wee scrote of a doctor opens his gub. ... '

Hence -gubbit, -mouthed. Cf. gabbit s.v. Gab.wm.Sc. 1903 “S. Macplowter” Mrs McCraw 120:
Ye're gettin' gey sweet gubbit.

2. Petulant chattering (Edb. 1943). Cf. Gab, n.1 1. (2).

3. Phrs. & Combs.: †(1) gob slake, a blow on the mouth or jaws; (2) gob-sticker, a large, “chewy” sweet (Ayr.8 1954); (3) gob-stapper, id. (Abd. 1954); (4) the gob(s) o' May, a spell of stormy weather often occurring at the beginning of May (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Cai.7 1954, — Mey); cf. gab o' May s.v. Gab, n.2; (5) to mak gobs, to make faces, to grimace, make a wry face; also fig. to cavil (at).(1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 396:
I'll give you a Gob Slake.
wm.Sc. 1955 Bulletin (17 Jan.):
Large, shining “gob-stoppers” sold in wee sweetie shops in back streets for two a penny.
(5) s.Sc. 1838 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 70:
Wi' lips that mak nae gobs at cinders!
Bwk. 1863 Border Mag. 241:
But self-preservation maks nae gobs at dangers.

II. v. 1. To prate, brag. Also in Eng. dial.Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1817) 280:
Quoth gobbin Tom of Lancashire, To northern Jock, a lowland Drover.

2. To smack in the mouth; to defeat. Also vbl.n. gubbin(g).Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 6:
Ah shouda gubbed him wan. That guy wisnae the clean tattie, near he wiz.
Gsw. 1992 Jeff Torrington Swing Hammer Swing! (1993) 35:
A strategy surfaced: lose heavily here, take a right good verbal gubbing.
Gsw. 1993 Herald (14 Sep) 14:
The late ace sportswriter Malcolm Munro ... was trying to find words to describe how Thistle had followed up a comprehensive midweek gubbing of league leaders Rangers by being dismissed from the Scottish Cup on the Saturday by Albion Rovers or some other lowly denizen of the then Second Division.
Arg. 1993:
I'll gie ye a right gubbin.
Sc. 1993 Herald (27 Nov) 9:
When it comes to politics and the economy, we are getting an even bigger gubbing than we did last Saturday.
Part of the problem with this convention is that it is a bit too conventional, too dominated by the inertia tendency. The Government is treating the people of Scotland with absolute contempt.
Sc. 1994 Herald (12 Aug) 14:
Is it a misprint, or does John Major's principal apologist in Scotland really, if reluctantly, accept now that a good gubbing awaits at the next election?
Sc. 1998 Herald (29 May) 23:
Even so, let me confess: I hope against hope that Scotland will gub (a colloquial word meaning "defeat graciously") Brazil on June 10.
Sc. 2002 Evening Times 21 Aug:
Aberdeen, on the other hand, you can only feel sorry for. A strong finish to the end of last season saw Ebbe Skovdahl being hailed as a messiah who had concentrated on youth and turned the club round. One severe gubbing by Celtic and a struggle to beat the mighty Moldovans, Nistru Otaci, later, and doubts once again abound about the young ...
Sc. 2004 Sunday Mail (1 Aug) 22:
However, Seamus from Cleland clearly enjoyed Celtic's Double-winning exploits last year. He said: 'We terrorised Rangers last season, gubbing them six times.
Sc. 2005 Scotsman (17 Feb) 41:
Churchill took his electoral gubbing personally. He sulked.

[O.Sc. has gob, gobb, a mouth, a beak, from early 16th c. From Gael. and Ir. gob, a bill, beak. Cf. Gab, n.1, v.]

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"Gob n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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