Green’s Dictionary of Slang

abdabs n.

also habdabs
[? echoic of the spluttering, hesitant speech of one who is thus afflicted]

1. nervous anxiety; usu. as screaming abdabs

[UK]D. Hill ‘Chalky’ in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 28 177: Come on, kid. This joint gives me the hab-dabs.
[UK]G.W. Target Teachers (1962) 191: The pictures gave you the creeping habdabs.

2. empty chatter, nonsense.

[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 55: You gotter say lick your arse, sir, touch the hat, bit of the abdabs, morning madam, fine day, then stick the old hand out for a bit of the dropsy.

In phrases

come the (old) abdabs (v.) [come the... v.]

to hoax, to fool, to ‘tell the tale’; often as don’t come the (old) abdabs, don’t try to fool me.

R. Cook Private Parts in Public Places 172: Comin’ the abdabs with me, all that fine-lady kick!
screaming abdabs (n.) (also screaming habdabs) [screaming adj. (3)]

the horrors, utter disgust, abhorrence; usu. as that gives me the screaming abdabs.

Our Time V-VI n.p.: ‘You give me the screaming hab-dabs,’ said Bill.
Piping Times 1-4 36: He blew a strident, sharp blast on the whistle, and the band stopped dead. [...] A Scottish R.A.F.-man was carried off on a stretcher with an acute case of the screaming abdabs.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: We’ve got two thousand Jocks up in the jungle suffering from the screaming ab-dabs.
O. Norton School of Liars 62: Gives me the screaming abdabs, that one does.
[UK]Barltrop & Wolveridge Muvver Tongue 96: It’s [...] enough to give you the screaming abdabs.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 150: The number-one celebrity on my books going down with a case of the screaming abdabs.
[UK]M. Walters Echo 25: For Christ’s sake smarten yourself up, or you’ll give the poor woman the screaming habdabs.
[UK]Observer Rev. 27 June 6: Annis gets a bad case of the screaming abdabs.
A. Kelley Bower Bird 7: She has the screaming abdabs if I mention him even.
[UK]D. O’Donnell Locked Ward (2013) 170: It’s quite disturbing to watch someone with a fit of the screaming habdabs.