grimble

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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grimble

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:24 am

In another post I used the Welsh word “swc”, which means somebody who is delightfully soft in a sentimental way. “I always cry at weddings because I am an old swc”. But I was not sure of the spelling, so I checked a Welsh/English dictionary. I was correct, but out of interest I looked at “swch” which translated as a ploughshare or otherwise a grimble.

A what? A grimble. Check another dictionary, “a ploughshare, a tip, or a grimble”. Yet another dictionary, guess what? , “A ploughshare, a tip, or a grimble”.

Turn to One Look, “Grimble”, Wikipedia is the only one with an entry, and that is a book by Clement Freud!

Friends and Wizards, your help is needed what is a GRIMBLE?
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Re: grimble

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:21 am

Bob, This is very strange and perplexing. After going through dictionaries old and new and the Welsh dictionary swc/swch/grimble revolving door, I assumed that the only hope was that GRIMBLE was a variation on some other more familiar word, and my hunch was that that word might be GIMLET, a boring tool – well, it contains a ‘G,’ an ‘M,’ and an ‘L’ and it has a pointy tip. However, I was unable to come up with anything definite.

A GIMLET is a small tool with a screw point, grooved shank, and a cross-handle, for boring holes, usually in wood or leather. The word derives from Old French guimbelet. All I can say is that guimbelet bears a resemblance to GRIMBLE. And if the ‘let’ happened to indicate a diminutive, I might guess that a guimbel was possibly a tool resembling an auger, which is just a large gimlet. Why in hell, the Welsh dictionary would use this word to define swc/swch, as some sort of tool/implement, I have no idea. And as far as I can make out Welsh dictionaries are the only place in the world where this word is used to indicate some sort of tool, farm implement, or whatever. However, I did find the verb GRIMBLE defined as ‘to begrime, dirty, sully. But that’s no help. Ya got me! ???
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Re: grimble

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:38 am

.. I sought it here I sought it there I sought it every-bloody-where .. it would make a great book >> The Hunting of the Grimble: a Welsh fairytale. .. Bob mate it's not even in the holy of holys .. *gasp* .. the OED .. heaps of people called Grimble .. so I thought look up the meaning of the surname .. not very enlightening .. something about a bold mask ?? .. their family crest gave nothing away .. aha it's an old occupation thinks me .. nope .. a grimbibber as a lawyer or a grimman as a person who manipulates a grip is as close as I found .. a grimbergen is a type of Belgian beer made in a monastry .. to grimmen is OE meaning to clamour .. and if you have a device which freely suspends certain equipment (such as a stove or compass) and allows them to remain level in spite of the action of the boat then any old salt will be able to tell you that that is a gimble .. so where next ?? .. I know it must be some other part of a plough .. sorry no kewpie doll there either .. and then I googled the news and found it !!!! .. YAY !!!! .. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh not this time it was only a typo where they meant to type grumble ..

.. but when all is lost and no other authority is left where does the avid searcher turn .. sorry Ken .. The Urban Dictionary and yep not 1 .. not 2 .. but SIX definitions .. so here we have it Bob ..
1. Do detailed work while grumbling (26/5)
2. Pulling or generally getting it off with someone (21/3)
3. A very small amout of rock cocaine - less than $5 worth (31/7)
4. Very ugly or unattractive person, usually women (7/1)
5. (deleted as even I considered it too offensive to retype)
6. Pornography of any form (4/41)
Note: As any regular reader of the UD will know the numbers in brackets refer to the thumbs up/thumbs down acceptance of the peer reviewers. (Hey you can't get better then peer reviewed research. hee hee)
.. so there you have it Bob the long lost meaning of the Welsh word swch .. now can you at least tell us how to pronounce it so we can drop it into casual conversation at the appropriate time ..

WoZ waiting to swch or to catch a swch or to eat a swch or do whatever one does with/to a swch
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Re: grimble

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:08 am

Wiz, What a relief. What ever would we do without the scholarship of the Urban Dictionary?
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Re: grimble

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:35 am

Thanks fellers, although I have severe doubts that swch is a rock of cocaine. I feel a letter to Aberystwyth (National Library of Wales) coming on.

Right, pronunciation. s- w (which is a vowel) as in would, and then ch as in the Scottish loch, or composer Bach (which is not lock or back!). S-OU-CH
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Re: grimble

Post by zmjezhd » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:11 pm

This is a tough one. (And, what is it about Celtic dictionaries? I once looked up a word in an Irish-English dictionary and then had to look up the gloss in the OED. Of course, I cannot remember what the words were in either English or Irish.) The name Grimble (and its variant Gribble) seem to have two possible etymologies: one from a Germanic name (via Norman french) Grimbold wherein the first root is the same one that gives us Old English grīma 'helmet, visor'. I don't think that this is related to the Old English grim 'sharp, bitter; fierce, severe; grim' (link).
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Re: grimble

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:53 pm

Thank you Jim.
I e-mailed the National Library of Wales this morning. They can take anything up to a month to answer, so I won't be holding my breath. When I do get a reply I shall let you know of course.
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Re: grimble

Post by zmjezhd » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:32 am

You're welcome, Bob. My senile old brain finally remembered the archaic English gloss: piggin 'a kind of ladle, or milk pail with a handle'. But, for the life of me I cannot remember what the Irish lexical item was. I've asked a co-worker, who speaks Irish, to remind me, as we discussed it, but who knows? I await your email answer ...
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Re: grimble

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:33 pm

Now here's a thing.

I was in the very pleasant company of a 92 year-old lady from Western Australia today who said that someone was a "sook".

Pardon? There we go, the Welsh Wenglish word "swc" meaning a soppy sod, here, alive and well on the left-hand bit of Australia. From the earlier post it would seem that WoZ didn't know the the word in, ironically, New South Wales.
I don't know about being a soppy sod, I am certainly
a daft one. The word is not Welsh,
it is Wenglish.
And sorry WoZ, too much hot weather and Ausie Shiraz!
Last edited by Bobinwales on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: grimble

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:08 am

.. no no no Bob .. sook is alive and well and being used on a daily basis where I come from .. what post was that ???? .. the word can be used amongst mates as a deriding term to have a go at a mate who has shown a soft spot, or his feminine side, You big sook, you're a girl's blouse! .. and equally it is used to describe a child who is not showing the level of maturity one might expect and is maybe a Mummy's boy .. it is also used as sooky where it conveys the fact that one is feeling childish and in need of some cuddles and care ..I'm feeling sooky ..

WoZ who is ever the sook .. (when it suits)
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