The Alternative English Dictionary: argle-bargle

Android app on Google Play

Entry definition

argle-bargle etymology 1808 Scottish,{{w|John Jamieson}}, ''Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Tongue.'' [ p. 82]“[ Scalia's argle-bargle]”, Ben Zimmer, ''Language Log,'' June 27, 2013[ Words in the Courtroom, from Mobspeak to "Argle-Bargle"], Ben Zimmer, ''Word Routes,'' June 27, 2013 from earlier argle (16th century), presumably from argue + le#Etymology_1, though possibly from Old Norse (Suio-Gothic) ierga – possibly influenced by haggle''[ Word Detective],'' [ Issue of January 5, 2006], “Put up your duke's.”, Evan Morris. – plus rhyming reduplication, possibly from bargain, found in early variant (1720).“But ’tis a Daffin to debate, / And '''aurgle-bargain''' with our Fate.” —[[w:Allan Ramsay (poet)|Allan Ramsay]], ''Poems,'' “The Rise and Fall of Stocks, 1720. An Epistle to the Right Honorable my Lord ''Ramsay.''”, [ p. 270]
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A verbal argument.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (slang) To argue.
    • {{RQ:Stevenson Kidnapped}} Last night ye haggled and argle-bargled like an apple-wife; and then passed me your word, and gave me your hand to back it; and ye ken very well what was the upshot.
    • 2013, Antonin Scalia, United States v. Windsor, p. 22: As I have said, the real rationale of today’s opinion, whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow, is that DOMA is motivated by '"bare . . . desire to harm"' couples in same-sex marriages.
related terms:
  • argie-bargie
  • argy-bargy

All Languages

Languages and entry counts