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 Phrases.org 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?
(40 days of my writing challenge to go…)