Flibbertigibbet

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Flibbertigibbet'

Flibbertigibbet Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    flibbertigibbet n : a female fool [syn: foolish woman]
Flibbertigibbet Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Flibbertigibbet \Flib"ber*ti*gib`bet\, n. An imp. --Shak.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Flibbertigibbet'


Flibbertigibbet is a Middle English word referring to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman. In modern use, it is used as a slang term, especially in Yorkshire, for a gossipy or overly talkative person. Its origin is in a meaningless representation of chattering.

This word also has a historical use as a name for a fiend, devil or sprite. In Shakespeare's King Lear (IV, i (1605)), he is one of the five fiends Edgar (in the posture of a beggar, Tom o' Bedlam) claimed was possessing him. Shakespeare got the name from Samuel Harsnett's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603), where one reads of 40 fiends, which Jesuits cast out and among which was Fliberdigibbet, described as one of "foure deuils of the round, or Morrice, whom Sara in her fits, tuned together, in measure and sweet cadence."

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