Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gab v.

[gab n.1 ; considered SE by the OED, but used in many sl. combs. below and thus included here]

to talk.

[UK]Chaucer Miller’s Tale line 3509: I nam no labbe, Ne, though I seye, I nam nat lief to gabbe.
[UK]R. Copland Hye way to the Spyttel House in Judges (1930) 8: And if any ax what countrymen they be [...] Or where they list to gab and rail.
Burns Earnest Cry and Prayer stanza 10: But could I like Montgomeries fight, Or gab like Boswell [F&H].
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Life in the Saddle 7: They are always gabbing to strangers!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 4 Apr. 4/1: Parliament, called together to consider a pic-nic war, has been prorogued without a thought given to the real war, the premonitory mutterings of which were already heard while members sat gabbing about Glory and Loyalty.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 25 Feb. 1/7: Presbyterian kirk-man gabbeth / That you much profane the Sabbath.
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 85: De Duchess she whispers t’ me t’ do most of de gabbing.
[Aus]‘Miles Franklin’ My Brilliant Career 138: One jackeroo who gabbed never-endingly about his great relations at home.
[US]H. Green The Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 55: See here! [...] You been gabbin’ all day! Now let up!
[US]Van Loan ‘IOU’ in Score by Innings (2004) 358: We gabbed for an hour or more.
[US]G. Lee ‘Trouper Talk’ in AS I:1 36: A ‘gabbing act’ is a dialogue.
[US]C. Sandburg The People, Yes 80: They enjoy the oily slant-eyed spieler with his slick bazoo selling tickets and gabbing.
[UK]R. Westerby Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 189: Gab, gab, gab. That was all some blokes ever did.
[US]W.R. Burnett Asphalt Jungle in Four Novels (1984) 257: She was tossing her head, laughing and gabbing back at them in a [...] rather petulant voice.
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 243: Listening to jazz, drinking booze in crazy Negro saloons and gabbing till five o’clock in the morn.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 140: [They] never say anything worth listening to. Just gab gab gab.
[US]A. Maupin Tales of the City (1984) 184: She was always gabbing about . . . hell, someplace back East.
[Ire]J.B. Keane Bodhrán Makers 180: The only body that should not give ear to them is an oul’ woman, especially one that gabs all day.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 49: Spit it out, sport [...] What were they gabbin’ about at the Shamrock?
(con. early 1950s) Ellroy L.A. Confidential 161: ’Who told you about him?’ ‘I don’t even know that, they were just girls gabbing at the next table at this goddamned bar’.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 12: Johnny wis gabbin a load ay shite intae ma ear.
[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 90: Two minutes [of torture] and he gabbed.
[Scot]I. Welsh Decent Ride 33: Ah’d better start gabbin if ah want tae sniff oot a tip.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 51: ‘They gab, they pop pills, they watch TV’.

In derivatives

gabfest (n.) (also gab session) [-fest sfx] (orig. US)

1. a gathering for talk; a spell of talking; a prolonged conference or conversation.

Chatauquan 21 767/2: If Sovereign and all the rest of the coterie engaged in a gabfest against sound money knew anything [etc.].
[US]Boston Transcript 7 Jan. 15/7: A Chicago paper speaks of the speechmaking on Andrew Jackson’s day as ‘the Democratic gabfest’.
[US]W.M. Raine Bucky O’Connor (1910) 101: I’ll leave you and your jelly-fish Scotty to your gabfest.
[US] letter in K.F. Cowing Dear Folks at Home (1919) 33: Here we are huddled about the stove with wet feet having a song and a gab-fest.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Corkscrew’ Story Omnibus (1966) 221: We had quite a little gabfest.
Lyre of Alpha Chi Omega 36:2 257/1: The Springfield Alumnae Club opened the year with the usual gab session and bridge party.
[US]V.G. Burns Female Convict (1960) 42: When lights goes out, let’s have a gab-fest, eh?
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 112: The gab-session wound up one night with our breezing over to Paradise Gardens [...] to listen to the queen of the blues.
[US]A.J. Liebling Honest Rainmaker (1991) 133: He was guest of honor at the weekly luncheon and gabfeist [sic] of the Rotary Club.
[US]H. Ellison ‘Have Coolth’ in Gentleman Junkie (1961) 137: He and I had quite a few gab sessions about [...] the old days.
D. Powell Golden Spur (1991) 143: The young men kept the apartment lively with their girlfriends and all night gab-fests.
[US](con. 1944) E.M. Nathanson Dirty Dozen (2002) 322: Keep your mouth shut, White! [...] This isn’t a gabfest!
[US]J. Ciardi A Second Browser’s Dict. 107: Gabfest. Any session marked by loquacity.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 27: I broke up their gabfest.
L. Ingraham Shut Up and Sing 255: The 9000 union delegates attending the four-day gabfest prefer to pontificate on issues [etc.].
[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 8: Charlie was in Mildura for some [...] gabfest in his capacity as Shadow Minister.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 38: Marilyn and Jeanne. The gabfest mnight extend.

2. garrulous, unrestrained talk.

[US]Atchison Dly Champion (KS) 12 Mar. 2/1: All those good old homely English terms are eliminated from the vocabulary of the prize ring as a result of its sordidness and its degeneration into a mere gabfest.
[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 34: I talked what the Teutons call ‘gab fest’ and ultimately fled in confusion.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) Décharné Straight from the Fridge Dad.
gabster (n.) [-ster sfx]

a chatterer, an idle talker.

[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Sept. 1/1: The parties to the wrangle were a Government gabster and an Independent.
in K.M. Osburn Southern ute Women (2009) 17: In 1927 OIA investigator H. H. Fiske called her ‘difficult, demanding, [and] a gabster, spreading her secrets wherever she thinks she may find a retentive ear’.
G.B. Stern No Son of Mine 35: You’ve opened your mouth enough, never have I met such a gabster.
[US]Billboard 5 July 6: When gabster Barry Gray takes a summer vacation from WMCA here [...] the station will not attempt to find a substitute spieler.
Travel & Camera 19 78: The 6'4" gabster has [...] tackled every subject and and every guest imaginable in the course of his marathon 5 hour talk sessions.
M. Cameron Scandalous Bargain 127: Franky might not have been the smartest man in town, but he was good-natured and was not a gabster.
R. Coughlin Grieving 16: He talked a lot, as was his wont, a regular gabster he was.
M. Reynolds Woman’a Estate IV 77: You talk too much, gabster [...] Bite your bloody tongue!”.

In compounds

gab-artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

(US) a talker, esp. a convincing talker.

[US]Carpenter 28 44: After the orchestra had played some more selections of appropriate music Attorney White E. Gibson, known as the ‘Gab Artist,’ was introduced.
Judge’s Library 238-49 n.p.: ‘Why,’ asked the weary-looking man of the chap who had been talking an hour without saying anything, ‘is a human being different from a suit-case?’ ‘I don’t know,’ answered the gab artist.
Miner’s Mag. 46/1: The gab-artist pauperized the English language to find verbal bouquets to fling at the heroes and patriots.
Bismark Trib. (ND) 17 Mar. 4/2: They are merely special special pleaders, and skilled gab artists.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 335: This guy was such a gab-artist, damn if he didn’t talk me into it.
[Aus]D. Niland Shiralee 168: One gab-artist at a time is enough for me.
G. Brown N.Y. Times Encyc. Film I n.p.: From where the client stands the agent is slippery, evasive, untrustworthy, doubledealing, a man quick with the promise and slow on the delivery, a dodger, a liar, a gab artist.
posting at 1 Oct. 🌐 Ann Coulter is a gab artist, a shockmeister, a quip machine. This is her schtick.
gab-bag (n.) [SE bag/-bag sfx]

(Aus.) a gossip.

[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 117: Mrs Campion was such a gab-bag, and only the Dear knew what she would make of a strange man in Mumma’s spare room.

In phrases