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90s Slang You Should Know


[skwob-uh l] /ˈskwɒb əl/
verb (used without object), squabbled, squabbling.
to engage in a petty quarrel.
verb (used with object), squabbled, squabbling.
Printing. to disarrange and mix (composed type).
a petty quarrel.
Origin of squabble
Swedish dialect
Norwegian dialect
1595-1605; probably < Scandinavian; compare Swedish dialect skvabbel a quarrel, gossip, Norwegian dialect skvabba to prattle
Related forms
squabbler, noun
squabblingly, adverb
unsquabbling, adjective
1. quarrel, wrangle, bicker, fight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for squabble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the squabble was of long standing, and there was nothing to threaten any immediate strife.

  • She and I had a squabble in the passage; she said I was not to come in because I had my red dress on.

    A Modern Tomboy L. T. Meade
  • And do you know, friends, a squabble in a cemetery is a fine thing after all!

    Mother Maksim Gorky
  • “It ill-befits your dignity to squabble over poppies,” they said.

  • With her I used to squabble, and sometimes sent her crying to her mother.

    The Daughter of the Storage William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for squabble


(intransitive) to quarrel over a small matter
a petty quarrel
Derived Forms
squabbler, noun
Word Origin
C17: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish dialect sqvabbel to quarrel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for squabble

c.1600, probably of imitative origin (cf. dialectal Swedish skvabbel "quarrel," dialectal German schwabbeln "to babble, prattle"). The verb is recorded from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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