Contemporary writers like Philips sometimes use "whelm" to denote a middle stage between "underwhelm" and "overwhelm." But that’s not how "whelm" has traditionally been used. "Whelm" and "overwhelm" have been with us since Middle English (when they were "whelmen" and "overwhelmen"), and throughout the years their meanings have largely overlapped. Both words early on meant "to overturn," for example, and both have also come to mean "to overpower in thought or feeling." Around 1950, however, folks started using a third word, "underwhelmed," for "unimpressed," and lately "whelmed" has been popping up with the meaning "moderately impressed."
A word German in layering if not in origin.
Although it’s not a food word, Atrisco (“the place by the reeds”) here in New Mexico is of Nahuatl origin. I think the synergistic effects of conquest (giving and receiving) must have contributed as much to Spanish as to English, plus exchanges between the two.
How many English food words can you name that derive from Nahuatl, a group of languages spoken by native peoples of Mexico and Central America? You’ve probably guessed that "tamale" gives you one; it came to us (by way of Mexican Spanish) from the Nahuatl "tamalli," a word for steamed cornmeal dough. Add to the menu "chili" (from "ch?lli," identifying all those fiery peppers); "chocolate" (from "chocol?tl," first used for a beverage made from chocolate and water); "guacamole" (from "?huacatl," meaning "avocado," plus "m?lli," meaning "sauce"); and "tomato" (from "tomatl"). Top it all off with "chipotle" (a smoked and dried pepper), from "ch?lli" and "p?ctli" (meaning "something smoked").
In honor of National Dictionary Day (Oct. 16), Anderson LIVE selected "adorkable" as the top audience submission for "a new word you would love to see in the dictionary."
adorkable (which is actually a word that Merriam-Webster has been tracking for several years) is defined as "attractive and charming in a nerdy or dorky way"
Maybe Erasmus wrote the play. They’re the original odd couple, I suppose. mjh
mumpsimus \MUHMP-suh-muhs\ , noun:
1. Adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy.
2. A person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice.
"I profess, my good lady," replied I, "that had any one but you made such a declaration, I should have thought it as capricious as that of the clergyman, who, without vindicating his false reading, preferred, from habit’s sake, his old Mumpsimus…
– Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman
Mr. Burgess, who sticks (I fancy) to his old mumpsimus, thought that the other gentleman might have given the canoe a shove to get it clear of the lock…
– Ronald A. Knox, The Footsteps at the Lock
Mumpsimus comes from a story (perhaps first told by Erasmus) about an illiterate priest who mispronounced a word while reciting the liturgy. The priest refused to change the word, even when he was corrected.
sumpsimus \SUHMP-suh-muhs\ , noun:
1. Adherence to or persistence in using a strictly correct term, holding to a precise practice, etc., as a rejection of an erroneous but more common form (opposed to mumpsimus).
2. A person who is obstinate or zealous about such strict correctness (opposed to mumpsimus).