August 23rd, 2020

words 6
  • sallymn

Sunday Word: Argle-bargle

argle-bargle [ahr-guhl-bahr-guhl]
noun or verb:
1 Copious but meaningless talk or writing; waffle
2 another word for argy-bargy (informal British); noisy quarrelling or wrangling


My hint--if such you could call it--fell upon deaf ears; and he, seeming not to hear it, continued to argle-bargle, but betraying himself in every word he said. (Max Pemberton, Jewel Mysteries)

So starting in my first year of law school, I dutifully siphoned the extraneous, enjoyable stuff off the top of my head, leaving only room for a list of case names and pentasyllabic argle-bargle. (Brian Cubin, It’s Time For Lawyers To Smell The Roses, Above The Law, August 2020)

"Lookee, measters," said the man with the lantern, "'twun't do no good to argle-bargle about it. If Miss Eve be run away it be for we to run arter 'er, I rackon, or else go back t' bed." (John Jeffery Farnol, The Quest of Youth )


1580s 'to argue obstinately, wrangle,' 'prob. a popular perversion of argue, or confusion of that word with haggle' [OED]. Reduplicated form argle-bargle is from 1822 (sometimes argy-bargy, 1857); As a noun, 'wrangling' from 1861.(Online Etymology Dictionary)

Argy-bargy was a late nineteenth-century modification of a Scots phrase, which appeared early in the same century in the form argle-bargle. The first part of this older version was a modification of argue. The second parts of the two forms, bargle and bargy, never had any independent existence — they are no more than nonsense rhyming repetitions of the first elements. (World Wide Words)