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Note 326 – The use of the word gubbins

I’ve heard my work colleague use the word gubbins a few times, but never thought of looking it up until today. He says it’s a slang term that may be a substitute for ‘stuff’. Here are a couple of examples he gave me:

  • I was clearing out some box files full of gubbins
  • Reading through the gubbins in the small print

The Cambridge Dictionaries online defines gubbins as an informal noun meaning “a collection of objects that are not important”. Oxford Dictionaries explain that it’s a “16th century word, from obsolete gobbon ‘piece, slice, gob’ and from Old French; probably related to gobbet“.

The discussion forum on says that gibbins is chiefly a British word meaning “an amount of non-descript (and presumably useless) bits and pieces”. It’s sometimes used after the adjective old i.e. ‘old gubbins’ suggesting something no longer needed.

Have you used this word before?

Until tomorrow…

(40 days of my writing challenge to go…)


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


One thought on “Note 326 – The use of the word gubbins

  1. Wow, that’s a blast from the past lol. My grandparents use to say it all the time, so I was brought up with it. Haven’t heard anyone use it for years now.

    Thanks for the chance to reminisce 🙂


    Posted by Vikki (The View Outside) | March 22, 2012, 8:59 am

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