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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Words of the day — jabberwocky

Good morning, Netizens...

January 31, 2013

Words of the Day

  • jabberwocky
  • audio pronunciation
  • \JAB-er-wah-kee\


: meaningless speech or writing

"The salesman started spewing computer jabberwocky at me like an auctioneer. I understood about every sixth word he uttered."— From an article by Larry D. Clifton in The Tampa Tribune, September 6, 1998

"When LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stepped into the crowded room, fashionably late, jabberwocky ceased and the only sound you heard was the whir and click of cameras."— From an article by Greg Cote in The Miami Herald, September 28, 2010


In a poem titled "Jabberwocky" in the book Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1872), Lewis Carroll warned his readers about a frightful beast:

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

This nonsensical poem caught the public's fancy, and by 1902 "jabberwocky" was being used as a generic term for meaningless speech or writing. The word "bandersnatch" has also seen some use as a general noun, with the meaning "a wildly grotesque or bizarre individual." It's a much rarer word than "jabberwocky," though, and is entered only in our unabridged dictionary, Webster’s Third New International.

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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