September 7th, 2002

eLouai

Word of the Day - "mollycoddle"

weather: cloudy
outside: 16°C
mood: okay
music: Renée Fleming - Ruhe Meine Seele (Strauss)


mollycoddle \MAH-lee-kah-dul\ verb
     : to surround with an excessive or absurd degree of indulgence or attention

Sample Usage:
     "That boy's old enough to be on his own without you playing mother hen to him," warned Uncle Joe, "so don't you mollycoddle him, Elma."

Did You Know?
     Coddling eggs is delicate business. You need to cook them slowly and gently, keeping the cooking water just below boiling. Given how carefully you need to treat the eggs, it's not surprising that "coddle," the name for the cooking process, had by the early 19th century developed a sense meaning "to treat like an invalid, pamper." "Mollycoddle" was formed by combining "coddle" with "molly," a nickname for Mary. In its earliest known uses in the 1830s, "mollycoddle" was a noun, a synonym of our modern "wimp" (and specifically applied to pampered or effeminate males), but within 30 years it was also being used as a verb for the process of treating someone like a wimp.


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