Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gob n.2

also gog
[the term appears mid-16C as SE; it gradually declined in status over the next 300 years]

1. a lump or clot of some slimy substance.

[[UK]T. Phaer Æneid II. Hiijb: Belching out the gubbes of blood [EDD]].
[UK]True Characters of A Deceitful Petty-Fogger et al. 8: She [...] Prattles more than any at the Table against Sense, Antichrist, and her Husband, till a fat Gob of Mother Tripe and Mustard, puts her to Silence.
[UK]Foote Cozeners in Works (1799) II 164: The venison was over-roasted, and stunk – but Doctor Dewlap twisted down such gobs of fat.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 115: Heer’s a buoy spit in my ’and! the biggest gog wotever was seen!
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 46: GOB, mucus, saliva.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Innocents Abroad 65: It is pushed out into the sea on the end of a flat, narrow strip of land, and is suggestive of a ‘gob’ of mud on the end of a shingle.
[UK]G.F. Northall Warwickshire Word-Book 93: Gob. Spittle containing mucus.
[US]H.A. White ‘A Word-List From Central New York’ in DN III:viii 567: gob, n. Small piece of anything; often something in a plastic state.
[Aus]V. Marshall Jail From Within (1969) 22: A long gaunt, silent individual [...] coughed hoarsely and expectorated huge gobs of crimson-streaked saliva.
[UK]‘J.H. Ross’ Mint (1955) 36: He lifted the stock-pot’s lid, and spat in neatly. ‘A gob for his guts.’.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 2: No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 205: You finally spit out a gob which completely drains you.
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 98: One gob hit the corner of the dancer’s mouth.
[US]I. Rosenthal Sheeper 43: I was [...] a sphinx with a woman’s lips on which I used gobs of pomade.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 149: Whiskey j. and I [...] shovelled gobs of muck over him.
[UK]P. Barker Union Street 148: The phlegm was the worst thing. Every morning his father brought it up, not in gobs [...] but in one long, sickening stream.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 24 Sept. 2: Nor would they accept a single speck of gob.
[US]T. Black Ringer [ebook] n.p.: If he [i.e. a barman] was a Tim I’d be watching for a gob in the pint; they’ve all had the arse rode off them by priests and not to be trusted.

2. a lump, a mouthful.

[UK]Nashe Praise of the Red Herring 41: He stept, and pluckt him from his state with a wennion [...] and thrust him downe his pudding house at a gobbe.
[UK]Tom Tel-troths Message 41: With gobs she fils and stuffes her greedie gorge.
[UK]L. Barry Ram-Alley I i: That little land he gave, Throte the lawyer swallowed in one gob For less than half the worth.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Gob [...] a Bit or Morsel, hence Gobbets, now more in use for little Bits; as a Chop of Meat is a good Cut.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[US]‘Madison Tensas’ Louisiana ‘Swamp Doctor’ (1850) 153: She sunk rite down, an’ begun to siken awful; the cold fride collards began to come up in gobs.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 46: GOB, a portion.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Jan. 11/1: Here are two gobs of glory from the War Cry columns, and we hope we may be struck political if we know whether it is better to laugh or weep on top of them.
[UK]G.F. Northall Warwickshire Word-Book 93: Gob. [...] A lump of anything, as ‘Gi’e us a gob o’ rock (sweetstuff)’.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 301: We sit around and gaily pound, /And bear no acrimony, / Because our ob-ject is a gob / Of sizzling abalone.
[US]H.C. Witwer Kid Scanlon 261: We even garnish each loaf with a generous gob of Gazoopis.
[US](con. 1910s) J.T. Farrell Young Lonigan in Studs Lonigan (1936) 100: Studs got the gob of tobacco out, just in the nick of time.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act II: Here, Jock. See’f noisy Harry wants a gob.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 60: I’d have given her a gob of Flemish.
[US]N. Proffitt Gardens of Stone (1985) 175: If he can make a soldier out of that gob of dog vomit, he deserves a Congressional, too.
[UK]J. Healy Streets Above Us (1991) 5: Phlegmbers – urchins that haunt the escalator areas try to outdo each other [...] see how many gobs they can land on passengers’ backs.

3. (UK Und.) a theft carried out by a thief who spits on a man’s coat, alerts him to the problem, then robs him while pretending to ‘help’ him clean up.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 479/2: C.20.

4. one who is typified by their spitting.

(a) (US, also gobshite) any sailor.

[US] in Our Navy 19: A nod, a look, a glance of an eye, / And some poor ‘gob’ is money shy .
[US] letter in K.F. Cowing Dear Folks at Home (1919) 4: Why, I have grown so tough that the gobs scurry to their holes when they hear my hobnails a-poundin’ the deck.
[US]F.S. Fitzgerald ‘The Jelly Bean’ in Bodley Head Scott Fitzgerald V (1963) 199: He enlisted as a gob and polished brass in the Charleston Navy-yard.
[US]‘R. Scully’ Scarlet Pansy 231: The gob [...] thrust gifts upon her – a beautiful jade ring which he had picked up in Panama.
[US]Mencken Amer. Lang. (4th edn) 574: Gob has been traced variously to a Chinese [sic] word (gobshite), of unknown meaning and probably mythical; to gobble, an allusion to the somewhat earnest methods of feeding prevailing among sailors; and to gob, an archaic English dialect word signifying expectoration [...] In May, 1928, Admiral H. A. Wiley, then commander-in-chief of the United States Fleet, forbade the use of gob in ship’s newspapers, calling it ‘undignified and unworthy.’ But the gobs continue to cherish it.
[US]Kerouac letter Mar. 15 in Charters I (1995) 49: I’m glad I’m now going to be a gob after reading about the officers in your camp.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 107: Not a gob laid his hands on my balsh.
[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 231: Great Lakes gobs pick up bobby-soxers. The room was packed with sailors.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 104: Outside he approached the very irked gob.
[US]J. Berryman 77 Dream Songs 60: Afters eight years, be less dan eight percent, / distinguish’ friend, of coloured wif de whites / in de School, in de Souf. / — Is coloured gobs, is coloured officers, / Mr Bones. Dat’s nuffin? — Uncle Tom, / sweep shut yo mouf.
[US]San Diego Sailor 6: I hadn’t heard anything about a fling with a young gob recently.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 107: Vanda had gone outside with her gob.
[UK](con. WW2) T. Jones Heart of Oak [ebook] My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty must have got wind of what was going on between our matelots and the gobs. Towards the late summer of 1942 we didn’t find ourselves so often near a US ship.
[US](con. 1940s) C. Bram Hold Tight (1990) 5: These gobs buying anything that’s not nailed down.
[UK](con. 1972) Indep. Rev. 3 Mar. 6: Sad Sack Navy / Gobs ’n’ Gals.

(b) a sailor’s hat.

[US]N.B. Harvey Any Old Dollars, Mister? 21: The wind blew a sailor’s white gob off his head.

5. a lump; thus gobby adj., lumpy.

[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 65: ‘He’s there wit [...] a gob o' dough to put on it’ [i.e. a bet].
[Can]R. Service ‘Lost’ in Ballads of a Cheechako 130: Snow that comes down like feathers, thick and gobby and gray.
[UK]B. Ross Tragedy of Z 70: She flipped a gob of ash off the tip of the cigar.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 80: The muscle-factory, you weeds. The muscle-factory, you spineless gobs of calves’-feet jelly, you.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 55: I patted my middle and my hand clinched around the fringe of a great gob of flab.

6. (UK public school) someone who makes one feel sick.

[UK](con. 1912) B. Marshall George Brown’s Schooldays 17: Look here, you young gob [...] you may be everything in the world to your mater but you make me want to spew.

7. spit.

[UK]J. Orton Erpingham Camp (1967) Scene vii: A grown woman came up and spat in my face [...] Gob all over my carnation. Disgusting.
[US]L. Bangs in Psychotic Reactions (1988) 229: Sure there was gob and beercups flung at the bands.

8. see gobshite n. (2)

In compounds

gobhawk (n.)

see separate entry.