"empty talk, nonsense," 1839, from Turkish, literally "empty." Introduced to English in "Ayesha," the popular 1834 romance novel by J.J. Morier.
"burlesque nonsense writing or verse," 1809, from French amphigouri (18c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps itself a nonsense word, though the first element seems to suggest Greek amphi (see amphi-). The second sometimes is said to be somehow from Greek gyros "circle," making the whole thus "circle on both sides," or it may be from Greek -agoria "speech" (as in allegory, category). Related: Amphigoric.
1570s, "trifles" (n.); 1630s "busy oneself with trifles; talk nonsense" (v.), apparently a reduplication of obsolete faddle "to trifle," or of fiddle in its contemptuous sense.
1871, nonsense word (perhaps based on jabber) coined by Lewis Carroll, for the poem of the same name, which he published in "Through the Looking-Glass." The poem is about a fabulous beast called the Jabberwock.
Old English dreflian "to slaver, slobber, run at the nose," from Proto-Germanic *drab-, perhaps from a PIE *dher- (1) "to make muddy, darken." Transferred meaning "to speak nonsense" is mid-14c., driveling being characteristic of children, idiots, and dotards. Related: Driveling, drivelling.
deprecative term for objects having a certain interest from being old, pretty, or curious, but no claim to art, 1840, from obsolete French à bric et à brac (16c.) "at random, any old way," a nonsense phrase.