Expression 'jabbing away at'


Could you help me with:

  1. Does ‘his stuffed nose’ suggest 'his nose stuffed with something?

  2. What does ‘jabbing away at’ mean?

Thank you!


Yes, mucus. Normally we’d say he had a stuffy nose.

Jabbing is something like stabbing, except that when you jab, you don’t usually cut into anything. You usually stab with something sharp, such as a knife or a long needle, but the thing you jab with doesn’t have to be sharp. It can even be your finger. Or, as in this story, your nose.

The adverb “away” is added here to mean that the action was repeated or continued for a long time without stopping. You could say, “She was talking away,” or, “He was writing away.”

Hi Jamie,

Many thanks again! I forgot completely that ‘away’ could suggest ‘the action was repeated or continued for a long time without stopping’, though I often refer an uncle of mine to ‘a talkaway guy’, who could make a solo speech to me over three hours without a trace of fatigue. :smiley:

I am sure now I won’t forget ‘away’ just like ‘three strikes’.


In English we would call your uncle a “windbag”.

When my siblings and I were little, my father sometimes called us “gas bags”.

“Windbag” and “gas bag” are both new but cool to me! With them I could update my vocabulary for my uncle, who is really annoying me these days with all that wind or gas. :smiley: Many thanks again, Jamie.

By the way, could I really suggest both of the expressions allude to the large quantity of hot air put out or possessed by a talkative person?

Thank you!


Yes. That’s EXACTLY what it refers to. :smiley: