Noun > Palaver

Noun – Palaver

The word “palaver” came into English through Portuguese sailor slang, and it ultimately traces back to the Latin parabola, meaning “speech, or discourse, or a comparison–” or, if you break the Latin word down into its Greek roots, “(something) thrown alongside (something else).”

Palaver” has been around in English since about 1707.

In American English, palaver is either jargon, or meaningless talk, or chatty talk that tries to convince people to do something.

It’s a verb, too. To palaver is to chitchat on and on.

Part of speech:
It’s most often a noun: “Their palaver fades into the background;” “That channel is just a bunch of political palaver.”

But it’s also a verb: “They palavered with the store owner.”

Other forms:
palavered, palavering, palaverous.

how to use it:
This word is fun and informal, with a slightly negative tone. We often talk about mindless palaver, endless palaver, foolish palaver.

“We don’t have time to waste on this palaver.”

“Enough palaver! Let’s take action.”

All that palaver between the hero and the villain. Just fight already!

“People keep introducing and reintroducing themselves to one another, asking, ‘Now, what was your name again?’ The talk also tends toward breezy but increasingly muddy observations of how the work on view doesn’t really seem typical of the Mark they know… Listen to enough of this palaver and you’ll develop a case of existential wooziness that brings to mind James Stewart in full panic mode in ‘Vertigo.'”
— Ben Brantley, New York Times, 27 May 2015