Wibble (an explanation)

The thought process that ended with the decision to call my blog ‘Wibble’ is lost in the mists of time. But recreating that sequence of events isn’t all that hard…. I first encountered the word ‘wibble’ (some may maintain it’s ‘wubble’)  in Blackadder Goes Forth, which, like all of Blackadder, is phlyarologically superb. As the Goons would probably put it: ‘perfectly enunciated rubbish’; a description that I like to think suits the assortment of words I’ve written here over the years.

But, more than this, the scene depicted above (which is from the final episode of ‘Goes Forth’ — Goodbyeee) features the following quote:

This is a crisis. A large crisis. In fact, if you’ve got a moment, it’s a twelve-storey crisis with a magnificent entrance hall, carpeting throughout, 24-hour porterage, and an enormous sign on the roof saying: ‘This Is a Large Crisis’.

… and that resonates with me due to the existential threats now facing our species and our planet, threats against which I have been known on occasion to rant, rail, and wail. For an example of such, you need only pick a random post from this blog; you’re quite likely to hit on one.

Google tells me that ‘wibble’ means:

  1. wobble; quiver.
  2. speak or write, especially at great length.

Wiktionary, meanwhile, offers: “Meaningless or content-free chatter in a discussion; drivel, babble.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

This circles back quite nicely to allow me to wax lyrical on my phondness of phlyarology. Phlyarology, a word of my own coinage (unlike ‘phlyarologist’[1] it’s not, as far as I’m aware, recognised in any dictionary) is  the study of nonsense. Rowan Atkinson’s ‘Blackadder’ is the epitome of such, providing hours of fun and amusement for less than the cost of a used bus ticket. One doesn’t have to look far for other splendid examples; there’s a whole lot of nonsense on the Internet. Some of it even has the gall to wrap itself up in the guise of ‘fact’ (the merchants of doubt and purveyors of misinformation in general have a lot to answer for).

Back when I started this blog, I had no idea I would still be writing in it decades later (my first post was on 28Mar2007). Well, okay, ‘decades’ is a bit of an exaggeration: as I write I’ve only been at it for just over eleven years, but I do like to try to assume longevity when writing, so as not to have the passage of time mock the content unnecessarily.

I hope, Dear Reader, that you will find something of interest in these pages. Please do feel free to browse.


[1] The word ‘phlyarologist’ (as opposed to ‘phlyarology’) is in OED online:

Etymology: < ancient Greek ϕλύαρος [phlyaros?] silly talk, nonsense (probably < ϕλύειν to boil over, to babble Obs. nonce-wd. [i.e., it was coined for the instance and never used again, until the ‘net discovered it – 2650 gh]

A person who talks nonsense.
1867 Athenaeum 12 Oct. 459/1, I would not meddle with such a phlyarologist.

About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, art, Just for laughs, People, Phlyarology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Wibble (an explanation)

  1. Thank you P for that wonderful explanation, I often DID wonder as to the name sake. Now I know. and as a great fan of Blackadder myself, I can appreciate even more your wibbles.. 🙂
    We started out blogging in the same year.. 🙂 My first post was entitled SMILE.. 🙂 And I am certain I will continue to find many more things you post here very interesting.. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • pendantry says:

      I think I’ve tracked your ‘smile’ post down… is it the one here? That’s a good first post, much better than mine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes that is the one.. I stumbled upon blogging almost by accident.. Yet nothing is ever by accident.. It was in the days of Windows Live Space.. I posted that not really knowing what I was doing, I deleted alot of posts but that was the very first I held onto.. 🙂 Thank you. It was all click and learn through error in the beginning. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh I meant to say I transferred my blog here in 2010 when they closed down, I was given the option of using Blogger or WP.. Glad I chose WP, though I do have a blogger Blog which gets updated about twice a year.. 🙂 lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. TinyCO2 says:

    The Blackadder Goes Forth series is a perfect illustration of gallows humour and while not unique to the British, it was certainly very common during the wars. Our personality has been formed through many a large crisis.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. lindasschaub says:

    I kind of like the sound of “Wibble” rolling off your tongue.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. You have one of the best blog names I’ve ever come across. Bravo you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. David Redpath says:

    Some sugar subsitute
    and milk in every wibble.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Eric Alagan says:

    Rowan Atkinson always gives me stitches – love the man’s brand of humour.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a top notch clip you shared! Amazed to know you have been sharing your scribbles for over a decade!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. txjessy says:

    Great insight! I had no idea what wibble meant:).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent. That explains it. I’m a big Blackadder fan too. One of my favourite lines is:
    This is the stickiest moment since sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.
    Classic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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