blubber

[14] The original notion underlying blubber is of ‘bubbling’ or ‘foaming’, particularly in relation to the sea, and it may, like bubble itself, be an onomatopoeic creation, imitative of the sound of spluttering or popping water. This sense died out in the mainstream language in the 16th century (though it survived longer dialectally), but it lies behind the verbal sense ‘cry copiously’. The development of the noun to its present meaning ‘whale fat’ is not altogether clear, but it may have been via an intermediate 15th-century application to ‘fish’s entrails’, which perhaps bubbled or appeared pustular when ripped open by the fishermen.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:
, (so as to swell the cheeks), , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blubber — is a thick layer of vascularized fat found under the skin of all cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians.cite web | url= http://www.wisegeek.com/what is blubber.htm | title= What is Blubber?] DescriptionLipid rich, collagen fiber laced blubber… …   Wikipedia

  • Blubber — Blub ber, n. [See {Blobber}, {Blob}, {Bleb}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A bubble. [1913 Webster] At his mouth a blubber stood of foam. Henryson. [1913 Webster] 2. The fat of whales and other large sea animals from which oil is obtained. It lies… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blubber — Ⅰ. blubber [1] ► NOUN ▪ the fat of sea mammals, especially whales and seals. DERIVATIVES blubbery adjective. ORIGIN originally denoting the foaming of the sea: perhaps symbolic. Ⅱ. blubber [2] …   English terms dictionary

  • Blubber — Blub ber, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Blubbered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Blubbering}.] To weep noisily, or so as to disfigure the face; to cry in a childish manner. [1913 Webster] She wept, she blubbered, and she tore her hair. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blubber — Blub ber, v. t. 1. To swell or disfigure (the face) with weeping; to wet with tears. [1913 Webster] Dear Cloe, how blubbered is that pretty face! Prior. [1913 Webster] 2. To give vent to (tears) or utter (broken words or cries); with forth or out …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blubber —   [ blʌbə; englisch »Tran«, »Speck«] der, s, Bezeichnung für Walspeck …   Universal-Lexikon

  • blubber — vb *cry, weep, wail, keen, whimper …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • blubber — blubber1 [blub′ər] n. [ME blober, a bubble; prob. of echoic orig.: see BLEB] 1. the fat of the whale and other sea mammals, from which an oil is obtained 2. Informal unsightly fat on the human body blubber2 [blub′ər] vi. [ME bloberen, to bubble:… …   English World dictionary

  • Blubber — Wal Blubber Als Blubber (von engl. blubber: Walspeck, Fischtran) wird die mehrere Zentimeter dicke Fettschicht von Walen und Robben bezeichnet. Da Wale im Gegensatz zu anderen Säugetieren kein Fell besitzen, das sie warm hält, benötigen sie eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • blubber — blub|ber1 [ˈblʌbə US ər] v also blub [blub] [Date: 1400 1500; Origin: blubber [i] to make a bubbling sound (14 18 centuries), from blubber bubble ; BLUBBER2] to cry noisily, especially in a way that annoys people blubber 2 blubber2 n [U] [Date:… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • blubber — {{11}}blubber (n.) late 14c., blober a bubble, bubbling water; foaming waves, probably echoic of bubbling water. Original notion of bubbling, foaming survives in the figurative verbal meaning to weep, cry (c.1400). Meaning whale fat first… …   Etymology dictionary

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