the gift of the gab


the ability to speak eloquently

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Good looks and having 'GIFT OF THE GAB' rate poorly on the list of ‘must-have’ sales skills, according to professionals questioned by sales recruitment firm Austin Benn in a new survey.”

A B Recruitment London


“Time after time I’ve missed scoring a point because the other man has had THE GIFT OF THE GAB and I haven’t.”

E.M. Forster - ‘Howards End’

Did you
know?

the gift of the gab
idiomatic phrase

- the ability to speak easily and confidently in a way that makes people want to listen to you and believe you

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


WORD ORIGIN

The expression gift of gab is apparently of Scottish origin, gab meaning “mouthful” or “mouth” in that dialect.

However, gab may also be a back formation from gabble – meaningless chatter – which comes into English from the Middle Dutch word gabbelen.


INSTANT ELOQUENCE?

The word “blarney”, meaning 'to placate with soft talk or to deceive without offending', probably derives from the stream of unfulfilled promises of Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy to the Lord President of Munster in the late sixteenth century. Having apparently agreed to deliver his castle to the Crown, he continuously delayed doing so with soft words, which came to be known as “Blarney talk”.

If you find yourself in Ireland, head to Blarney Castle, about eight kilometres from Cork. There you will find the famous Blarney Stone built into the battlements of the castle. Legend says that whoever kisses the Blarney Stone will be endowed with the eternal gift of eloquence, or the gift of the gab.


"THE VOICE"

Eloquence has as much to do with HOW we sound as the actual words we use. He had a lot of nicknames: "Chairman of the Board", "Ol' Blue Eyes", "Frankie Boy", "Swoonatra", or simply "The Voice." But for all his aliases — not to mention his place in popular culture — Frank Sinatra's vocal instrument left a permanent mark on 20th-century America.


SYNONYMS

articulateness, a way with words, blarney, command of language, flowing tongue, furor loquendi, logomania, logorrhoea, loquacity, mellifluousness, silver tongue, talk the hind legs off a donkey, way with words


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Jim’s got THE GIFT OF THE GAB – let’s offer him a position in the press department.”


THANKS to Axel for suggesting today’s OWAD!


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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