Origin of blubber

1250–1300; Middle English bluber bubble, bubbling water, entrails, whale oil; apparently imitative
Related formsblub·ber·er, nounblub·ber·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blubbering

sobbing, wailing, weeping, bawling

Examples from the Web for blubbering

Contemporary Examples of blubbering

Historical Examples of blubbering

  • "Go home and learn your manners," he had shouted at the blubbering boy.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • He was blubbering in her arms, hysterically, as she caressed him.

    The Adventurer

    Cyril M. Kornbluth

  • Blood admonished him in a whisper, alarmed by the lad's blubbering.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • "I am not crying," spluttered Cassy, who was blubbering like a baby.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • Why, Mrs. Orville was blubbering like a baby when I entered, but she tried to hush up after a while.


    Effie Afton

British Dictionary definitions for blubbering



to sob without restraint
to utter while sobbing
(tr) to make (the face) wet and swollen or disfigured by crying


a thick insulating layer of fatty tissue below the skin of aquatic mammals such as the whale: used by man as a source of oil
informal excessive and flabby body fat
the act or an instance of weeping without restraint
Australian an informal name for jellyfish


(often in combination) swollen or fleshyblubber-faced; blubber-lips
Derived Formsblubberer, noun

Word Origin for blubber

C12: perhaps from Low German blubbern to bubble, of imitative origin
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

Word Origin and History for blubbering

c.1400, present participle adjective from blubber (v.). Originally of fountains, springs, etc.; of weeping, from 1580s. As a verbal noun, from 1570s.



late 14c., blober "a bubble, bubbling water; foaming waves," probably echoic of bubbling water. Original notion of "bubbling, foaming" survives in the figurative verbal meaning "to weep, cry" (c.1400). Meaning "whale fat" first attested 1660s; earlier it was used in reference to jellyfish (c.1600) and of whale oil (mid-15c.). As an adjective from 1660s.



late 14c., "to seethe, bubble," from blubber (n.). Meaning "to cry, to overflow with weeping" is from c.1400. Related: Blubbered; blubbering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

blubbering in Science



The thick layer of fat between the skin and the muscle layers of whales and other marine mammals. It insulates the animal from heat loss and serves as a food reserve.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.