I believe there is also a computing or physics theory that contains this word. (i.e. "Something Theory") It's definitely at least two syllables long and I'm pretty sure there's at least one 'b' somewhere in the word.

Thank you!

  • 4
    Blabber, blather, ramble. Blowhard, windbag. Gabby, verbose.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 16:40
  • 2
    Small talk, chitchat, tuning Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 17:15
  • Are you confusing babble meaning talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way with bubble theory? There is a cosmological bubble theory and an economic bubble theory. There is also a computing process known as a bubble sort. Just wondering
    – BoldBen
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 10:32

5 Answers 5


In communication studies, there is an adjective which is usually accompanied by the word communion, and that is phatic.

We exchanged pleasantries and the usual phatic communion, but unfortunately there was no meeting of the minds.

Asking how a person is doing, talking about the weather, saying things like "Is it hot enough for you?" and so on, all qualify as phatic communion, since no consequential information is exchanged. That doesn't mean phatic communion is without merit. In its favor it does grease the wheels of sociability and bonhomie. It also fills awkward pauses and silences.


Perhaps you're referring to information theory? In this context, a conversation might be deemed "high entropy" if it communicates a lot of information or "low entropy" if not.


blather (ˈblæðə) or blether

vb 1. (intr) to speak foolishly n. 2. foolish talk; nonsense
3. a person who blathers

tittle-tattle (ttl-ttl) TFD

n. Petty gossip; trivial talk.
intr.v. tit·tle-tat·tled, tit·tle-tat·tling, tit·tle-tat·tles

To talk idly or foolishly; gossip.


I confess, I was up all night, spending 4 hours on finding the answer to this fascinating question! Being a teacher, with a minor in English Studies, and post-graduate studies in quantum physics, programming, and system's analysis and design...manifested the beautiful, neurotic, obsessed, eccentric to the value represented by the Max Planck, quirky, total nerd/geek and SME of twitching anti-socialism.

However, perhaps my list of words, at least 2 syllables and likely containing the letter "b" will disclose the forgotten word. Many have already been shared by previous posts. So, here goes (and this is @ 57.690341237% complete):

  • bloviate
  • babble
  • blather
  • blabber
  • blithering
  • bombast
  • balderdash
  • Hodgepodge
  • jumble
  • Verbose
  • Glib
  • Gab
  • Chat
  • Banality
  • Gibberish
  • Bosh
  • Fustian
  • Flimflam
  • Inane
  • Neologism
  • Jargon
  • Mumble
  • Murmur
  • Mutter
  • Blarney
  • Baroque
  • Benignant
  • woolgathering flummery

    Hope this helps!

~Joy S. Leigh~ (aka Renée Michelle)

  • A few of your words don't really have anything to do with "meaningless conversation/speech". I'm looking particularly at "neologism", "mumble", "murmur", and "mutter"; the first one just means "a recently coined word or phrase", while the other three deal with speech that is hard to hear, not speech that is meaningless. Commented May 26, 2017 at 21:41
  • Post-graduate studies in "system's analysis"?
    – Xanne
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 6:35

In the Jargon File, such communication is called "content-free", a sound-alike to "context-free" which has a specific meaning in compiler theory.

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