noun. Female babbler.
O you cockatrices and you bablatrices,
that in the woods dwell:
You briers and brambles, you cook’s shops
and shambles, come howl and yell.
– Locrine (1595)
The author of Locrine is up for speculation, some attribute it to George Peele, Robert Greene, and even William Shakespeare. Whoever wrote it, I thank them for giving us such a fun word!
If we are to look at this word in context of the above, it would seem to be perhaps a female cockatrice. A mighty foe indeed. But the definition above from the OED gives it a broader meaning.
A babbler is basically anything that won’t shut up. A bablatrice is a female that won’t shut up. Do you know any of those? Of course you do.
You now have a name for all those valley girls, talkative co-workers, the never-silent spouse, and all other women in your life who flood you with chat. Use it wisely.
Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak.
– Rosalind, As You Like It (III.ii), William Shakespeare