Part of speech:
Both a verb ("to natter about something") and a noun ("Let's have a natter at the coffee shop.")
To natter about something, or to have a natter, is to chat casually, to have a conversation.
nattered, nattering, natterer (the person who natters)
How to use it:
This is a fun, casual word to use in place of "chatter" or "chitchat" (or here in Hawaii, "talk story") when you want to be especially informal and breezy. Having a natter is having a friendly, good-natured chat.
So, for the verb, talk about nattering with someone or nattering about something. You can natter on about something, too.
For the noun, talk about having a natter, enjoying a natter with someone, engaging in a natter on or about some topic, and so on.
Occasionally you'll use "nattering" as an adjective: those nattering old ladies, this nattering gossip, that nattering nabob. "Nattering" also works well as a gerund: "Quit all that nattering about the menu and make a choice already."
For the extrovert, nattering is energizing. The opposite is true for us introverts: conversation, even the low-pressure, friendly kind, drains us.
William Logan of the New York Times has praised poetry's role in daily life, saying that "to live continually in the natter of ill-written and ill-spoken prose is to become deaf to what language can do."
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "natter” means when you can explain it without saying “chat about whatever" or “converse."
Think of someone you enjoy chatting with (or someone you really, really don't enjoy listening to), and fill in the blanks: "(Person)'s nattering about _____ is always _____."
Positive example: "A friend's nattering about her pet is always sweet."
Negative example: "Radio DJs' nattering about themselves is always annoying."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s should be fairly difficult. By the end of the month, expect some whoppers.
What do these words have in common?: treble, tertiary, tern
Answer: All have to do with the number three: treble (having three parts), tertiary (third), tern (a set of three.)
Try this one today: march, depression, polish
A Point Well Made:
Mexican proverb: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
1. The opposite of NATTER is
A. WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE
B. HOLD YOUR TONGUE
C. SWALLOW YOUR FEAR
2. _____, Jeremy can have a natter with anyone about anything.
A. Easily angered
B. Eager to find faults
C. Friendly and intelligent
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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