Meaning of gubbins in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡʌbɪnz/

plural noun

treated as singular or plural
  • 1British informal Miscellaneous items; paraphernalia.

    • ‘all the latest films, books, and electronic gubbins’
    • ‘It requires committee rooms, meeting places, back office space, support teams, information technology and all the rest of the gubbins.’
    • ‘It either makes the vehicle heavier through the extra gubbins you have to put on it, or measures to improve the burn quality of the engine end up with you burning more oil to run that engine.’
    • ‘Having then been working on CSS gubbins all day, my brain is not strictly with it.’
    • ‘He's now exchanged the wrong inner cistern gubbins he got yesterday for the correct ones.’
    • ‘If I'm thinking of having the gubbins cleared out of my carotid artery, what can you tell me about what I can expect, at least in the first month after the operation?’
    • ‘You know, there's a letterbox in the dash but the gubbins are under the passenger seat.’
    • ‘I don't drink milk, because I don't like farming methods, and I don't think most farmed milk is particularly good for you - all the preservative gubbins that goes in.’
    • ‘The best bet (from Martyn, who knows a fair bit about such things) is that the guy's engine was seriously badly tuned and some petrol was getting into gubbins that it shouldn't.’
    • ‘Pulling off the cheap plastic lens and gubbins from the front of the camera was easy, as was opening up the back and gutting the thing of all the springs and pulleys and bits of black plastic that I wouldn't be needing.’
    • ‘In fact, it's also a complete nightmare - stripping out all the tables, maintaining the basics of the ‘design’, and all that gubbins.’
    • ‘Having renewed the contents insurance at 9pm on Friday, I received the complete pack, policy, numbers, and all that gubbins, in the post this morning.’
    • ‘I'm not suggesting, of course, that women don't care about suspension and torque and all that gubbins, nor that men don't care about colours and accessories.’
    • ‘Fair enough, it's where they met, and all that gubbins - but somehow it just makes me think ‘Yick!’’
    • ‘So it's slow and ugly and now things really go downhill because thanks to the prop shaft and all the other rear-wheel-drive gubbins, there is no space in the back.’
    • ‘It gets translated into java, with added database connectivity and gubbins like that, then it's executed.’
    • ‘Yes, it's probably stupid emotional gubbins, but we're allowed a bit of that every now and then, aren't we?’
    • ‘There are endless racks of technical gubbins - what they do is anyone's guess.’
    • ‘This is perhaps why I get ticked off when I hear people banging on about spirits, energy and other astral gubbins and taking it all on board without criticising it at all, with what seems to me to be little experience.’
    • ‘Plugging the unit into your TV and computer is reasonably straightforward, presuming you have all the other gubbins already in place, such as a computer with an Ethernet network port.’
    • ‘It has to be said that the box that holds all the important computer gubbins in this system lies somewhere just south of Hideous, mixing last century's beige with transparent plastic and metal bolts.’
    paraphernalia, equipment, stuff, things, apparatus, tackle, kit, implements, tools, utensils, material, materials, appliances, rig, outfit, regalia, appurtenances, impedimenta, miscellaneous articles, odds and ends, bits and pieces, bits and bobs, trappings, accessories, trimmings, adornments, ornamentation, furnishings, fittings, appointments
    1. 1.1treated as singular A gadget.
      • ‘a little gubbins he had made as a boy’
      • ‘For anyone else who's interested (this means you, Gordon), the new ADSL modem and wireless networking gubbins are now all in place.’
      • ‘Throttle response seems completely unaffected by the forced induction gubbins, no doubt a result of keeping the intake tract short and with as little internal air volume as feasible.’
      • ‘There are no buttons to push if you get stuck in mud, no transfer box or locking differentials, no gubbins to keep you moving when nature would rather you didn't.’
      • ‘So you'll be able to IM from your BlackBerry, if your company has the right gubbins.’
      • ‘Fear not if the road is slippery or especially bumpy, as the friendly traction control light will illuminate and the electronic gubbins will kill wheelspin and steady your trajectory in a jerk-free manner.’
      • ‘It makes for a fluid, satisfying driving experience from the outset and with so much electronic gubbins involved it's actually a pretty neat trick.’
      • ‘My lack of ability to achieve any real success in almost all areas of DIY provides her with hours of amusing tales for her friends and she is well aware that even getting the gubbins out of the box could prove disastrous.’
      • ‘Well, to be honest, it didn't so much blow up as trip the main fuse when 2 large cups of hot chocolate, which I'd put in to heat, tipped over and trickled into the gubbins in the bottom of it.’
      • ‘Now, not wanting to harm the little thing, I didn't feel inclined to poison or trap it, so I took up a suggestion that the gubbins from a musical card should be placed in the run.’
      • ‘Elect to unscrew the VCR cover to have a look at the gubbins inside.’
      • ‘I thought I had, but the gubbins for the wireless networking router appears to be AWOL.’
      • ‘The gubbins up front - the lens, the buttons etc. don't vary much from camera to camera, but what the camera records onto alters what film you see at the end of the day.’
      equipment, apparatus, paraphernalia, articles, appliances, impedimenta
      belongings, possessions, effects, personal effects, property, baggage, chattels, movables, paraphernalia, appurtenances, impedimenta, miscellaneous articles, odds and ends, bits and pieces, bits and bobs, trappings, accessories


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘fragments’): from obsolete gobbon ‘piece, slice, gob’, from Old French; probably related to gobbet. Current senses date from the early 20th century.