Etymology
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prittle-prattle (n.)

"trivial, idle, or worthless talk," 1550s, a varied reduplication of prattle. Also from 1550s as a verb.

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babbling (n.)
"muttering, foolish talk," c. 1400, verbal noun from babble (v.). The adjective babblative "given to idle talk" is attested from 1580s. Related: Babblingly.
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saunter (n.)

"a leisurely stroll, a ramble," 1828, from saunter (v.). Earlier it meant "idle occupation, diversion" (1728); "leisurely, careless way of walking" (1712).

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vain (adj.)
c. 1300, "devoid of real value, idle, unprofitable," from Old French vain, vein "worthless, void, invalid, feeble; conceited" (12c.), from Latin vanus "empty, void," figuratively "idle, fruitless," from PIE *wano-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out."

Meaning "conceited, elated with a high opinion of oneself" first recorded 1690s in English; earlier "silly, idle, foolish" (late 14c.). Phrase in vain "to no effect" (c. 1300, after Latin in vanum) preserves the original sense. Related: Vainly; vainness. Compare also vainglory.
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chatter (n.)

mid-13c., "a run of quick, shrill sounds," originally of birds, from chatter (v.). Meaning "idle or foolish talk" is by 1831.

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blah (n.)
"idle, meaningless talk," 1918, probably echoic; the adjective meaning "bland, dull" is from 1919, perhaps influenced by French blasé "bored, indifferent." The blahs "depression" is attested by 1966.
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jangle (n.)
late 13c., "gossip, slanderous conversation, dispute," from Old French jangle "idle chatter, grumbling, nagging," from jangler (see jangle (v.)). Meaning "discordant sound" is from 1795.
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unoccupied (adj.)
late 14c., "idle," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of occupy (v.). In reference to ground, etc., "not possessed, not made use of," from early 15c.
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sulky (adj.)
"quietly sullen," 1744, of uncertain origin. Connection has been suggested to obsolete, rare sulke "hard to sell" (1630s) and to Old English asolcen "idle, lazy, slow," past-participle adjective from aseolcan "become sluggish, be weak or idle" (related to besylcan "be languid"), from Proto-Germanic *seklan (source also of Middle High German selken "to drop, fall"). But words of similar meaning often are held to be imitative (compare miff, mope, boudoir). Related: Sulkily; sulkiness.
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otiose (adj.)

1794, "unfruitful, futile," from Latin otiosus "having leisure or ease, unoccupied, idle, not busy" (source of French oiseux, Spanish ocioso, Italian otioso), from otium "leisure, free time, freedom from business," a word of unknown origin. Meaning "at leisure, idle" is recorded from 1850. Compare Latin phrase otium cum dignitate "leisure with dignity." Earlier adjective in English was otious "at ease" (1610s), and Middle English had noun otiosity (late 15c.).

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