Just now I called our cat Pushkin a gubbins, and my wife said “That’s a good word, what does it mean?” I said I didn’t know; she asked if I’d made it up, and I said “That, or it’s bubbling up from childhood reading.” Must be the latter, because the first thing Google handed me was the Collins English Dictionary definition:
1. an object of little or no value
2. a small device or gadget
3. odds and ends; litter or rubbish
4. a silly person
[C16 (meaning: fragments): from obsolete gobbon, probably related to gobbet]
So it turns out my use of it was perfectly appropriate, even though I had no conscious awareness of the meaning of the word (and still don’t know where I picked it up); the mind is a funny thing. (The OED’s first definition is “Fragments, esp. of fish”; the second is the unusually vehement “A contemptuous name formerly given to the inhabitants of a district near Brent Tor on the edge of Dartmoor, who are said to have been absolute savages. Obs. except Hist.“)
Are you familiar with this delightful word, and if so, in which senses (and what variety of English do you speak)?