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Etymology 1Edit

Probably the root of zwabben (from swabben 'to plod(der), drudge trough (filth)(y) (water)', cognate with to swab) + -er


zwabber m (plural zwabbers, diminutive zwabbertje n)

  1. A mop, implement for cleaning floors etc., especially aboard a vessel
  2. Certain other nautical cleaning implements:
    1. A dradenstoffer m
    2. A zeilveger m
  3. (metonymically) A cabin-boy, least senior sailor (apprentice), as he (or they) must most often do chores like manning the mop
  4. A ship officer on the guard duty kuilwacht
  5. (pejorative) An irresponsible person, notably:
    1. A party animal
    2. A squanderer
    3. A drunk, who staggers (compare etymology 2)
  6. A dirty person
  7. A dirtbag
  8. (metonymically) The tail of a fish or whale
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit



  1. first-person singular present indicative of zwabberen
  2. imperative of zwabberen

Etymology 2Edit

From zwabberen, a frequentative (alongside zwabbelen) from zwabben 'to drudge, plod(der)'


zwabber m (plural zwabbers, diminutive zwabbertje n)

  1. A swaggerer, staggerer
  2. A tramp, vagrant, hobo
  3. A beggar

Etymology 3Edit

Germanic, probably from English swabber, a whist term


zwabber ? (plural zwabbers, diminutive zwabbertje n)

  1. A form of the cards game pandoeren, without trumps or points