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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 squabbled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They squabbled over the spending of a penny and each grudged food to the other.

  • The dories roved and fished and squabbled till a swell underran the sea.

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • They squabbled and bickered and argued till the noise they made wakened Babo, and he sat up.

    Twilight Land Howard Pyle
  • The two loved each other the better the more they squabbled.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up Clarence Edward Mulford
  • He fought and squabbled for an hour, and I found that, without some abatement, I never should have settled the affair.'

  • The night before the flying-foxes had screamed and squabbled round the house.

    The Exiles of Faloo Barry Pain
  • And so for an hour or more they squabbled over a large sheet of paper and at last evolved a course of reading for her.

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for squabbled


(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 squabbled



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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