1897, "person who is always listening to other people's conversation; person who gazes around him with undue curiosity," from rubber (n.1) + neck (n.). Popularized in reference to sightseers in automobiles. As a verb, "crane the neck in curiosity," by 1896. Related: Rubbernecking (1896); rubbernecker (1934).
also V.I.P., 1933, initialism (acronym) for very important person or personage; not common until after World War II.
At most, the greatest persons, are but great wens, and excrescences; men of wit and delightfull conversation, but as moales for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world, that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole. [John Donne, letter to Sir Henry Goodere, Sept. 1608]
1520s, "chatter, frivolous talk;" see chat (v.). Meaning "familiar conversation" is from 1570s. As a name for birds with chattering cries, 1690s. Chat show for what in U.S. is a talk show is attested from 1967. Chat room in the online sense is attested by 1994, from the days when AOL ruled the World Wide Web.
1706, originally a contraction of am not, and considered proper as such until in early 19c. it began to be also a generic contraction of are not, is not, has not, etc. This was popularized in representations of London cockney dialect in Dickens, etc., which led to the word being banished entirely from correct English. Bartlett ("Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848) reports that hain't for "have not" is "A contraction much used in common conversation in New England."
"talk artlessly and childishly," 1530s, a frequentative (or diminutive) of prate (q.v.); also see -el (2) and (3). Related: Prattled; prattling. The noun, "inconsequential or childish talk," is attested from 1550s.
Prattle is generally harmless, if not pleasant, as the prattle of a child, or of a simple-minded person ; prating now generally suggests the idea of boasting or talking above one's knowledge ; chat is easy conversation upon light and agreeable subjects ... ; chatter is incessant or abundant talk, seeming rather foolish and sounding pretty much alike ; babble or babbling is talk that is foolish to inaneness, as that of the drunkard (Prov. xxiii. 29) .... [Century Dictionary, 1895]
The one employment from which Americans turn their faces in righteous horror is that of the barmaid. They consider it a degrading position, and can not understand how English people reconcile with their professions of Christianity the barbarous practice of exposing women to the atmosphere of a liquor bar at a railway station, where they must often run the gauntlet of the insolent attentions of the "half-intoxicated masher," endure vulgar familiarity, and overhear low conversation. [Emily Faithfull, "Three Visits to America," 1884]