Friday, 23 August 2013

Blub - Cry Me a River

Danish Film


Verb & Noun. Colloquial. Early 19th century.
[Abbreviation of BLUBBER verb.]

A1 verb trans. Wet of disfigure with weeping. E19

A2. verb intrans. Shed tears, weep. M19

B noun. A fit or spell of weeping.


Verb. Late Middle English.
[from BLUBBER noun. Probably imitative: compare Low German blubbern bubble, German blubbern bubble, splutter.]

1 verb intrans. Bubble (up); make a bubbling sound. LME

2 verb intrans. Weep noisily; weep and sob unrestrainedly. LME

3 verb trans. Utter with crying and sobbing. (Followed by out, archaicly forth.) L16

4 verb trans. Wet, disfigure, or swell (the face) with weeping. L16

Also: blubberer noun L18. blubberingly adverb with noisy weeping M19.

Men can be a bit weird about crying. It doesn't particularly bother me personally, and I don't see anything shameful about a man shedding a few tears. Blubbing, though, is something I do try and avoid. It's a tragically imitative word, encompassing sobbing, bewailing and bawling in all of its blub-blub-blubbery snotty, sniffy wetness. Whenever one mentions blubbing (or blubbering), however, I can't help but think of the Danish film After the Wedding. A (male) friend and I watched it together and, granted, it is an exceptionally sad film with some supremely moving moments. However, during the climactic scene, a scene for which I myself was shedding a few tears, my friend started ... well ... blubbering. And blubbering loudly. Whooping-cough loudly.

It's hard to overstate the awkwardness of this moment - two men, sitting in the dark, on opposite sides of the room, watching a deeply emotive film, and one of them suddenly sobbing, blubbing, sniffling and choking on his own tears. Should I pause the movie, turn the lights on and console him? Should I let the movie run and quietly ask if he's OK? Should I snort with derision, throw a cushion at him and tell him to man up? No, I just sat there in silence, ruing what had to be the longest sad scene in film history (I swear it seemed at least three hours) and wishing I'd picked Die Hard instead.

Are you a blubberer?

Is it OK for men to blub?

Is it OK for men to blub during films?

Is it OK for men to blub during films together?

Please do blub your comments below.


  1. Everyone needs a good blub once in a while, though I do reserve any I am forced into by circumstance or emotion to a private time and space. No one needs to see me like that haha.

    I come from a line where men don't cry, let alone blub. The only time I remember seeing my dad cry was at his mom's funeral. I must say a man who is able to express his emotions even just a little bit is refreshing, but I don't know if I could handle a man who blubbed. Sorry to any blubbers out there...

    1. I think men should be able to cry and express their emotions. This one was awkward though!

  2. You picked, sat down to watch, and then watched 'After The Wedding' with your male friend in a be-cushioned room which had, what can only be described as, the lights off, and now you're complaining about his blubbage?


    (Were either of you wearing bloomers at the time?)

    1. Ha! That's quite the picture in my mind!!
      Ta for the laugh!

      I'm an emotional person, and while I don't think I blubber, I do shed tears very easily.
      My husband has found that as he's got older, he has become more emotional, and will now cry at sad moments in movies. But he does it very quietly.

    2. He'd got through 'Message in a Bottle' without blubbing ... how was I to know?

  3. I liked that Danish actor in "En kongelig affære" (A Royal Affair). Bam, another foreign movie for you all to see. Loved the Danish. I'd never heard anyone speak it before but it's a beautiful language.

    I've never seen a man cry. Never. I don't know what a crying man looks like, let alone a blubbering one.

    1. Set yourself a goal bibi - 'this week, I will make a man blub.' I'm sure you can do it if you concentrate.


    2. That'll be a bit difficult, seen as I'll be working all week, and there are only women at the office. Basically, what you're saying is I have to go OUT, into the real world (*shudders*), to find a guy and make him cry his eyes out.

    3. have to........{sniff} all week.......with......{sniff sniff}....just other women.........{vociferous blubbing}


    4. Whaaaat? Bibi that is shocking! I can't believe you've never seen a man cry. And C is a delicate soul, so go easy on him.

  4. "To Blub". It's a really good word Ed! Especially as an adverb - "blubberingly".


    1. I hate to correct you Chlobo, but 'blubberingly' is only applicable specifically and exclusively to the way whales wobble after a violent sneeze.


    2. Yup. I just checked it in the OED - C's right.


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