Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Swaddle

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

Swaddle

Postby sluggo » Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:10 am

swaddle

Pronunciation: swah-dêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To swathe, to bandage, to wrap in bandages. 2. To tightly bind a baby with blankets so that it cannot move its arms or legs. 3. To tightly restrain or restrict, to smother, suffocate.

Notes: Swaddling dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who wrapped their infants in long strips of cloth, a process taking as long as two hours. Swaddled babies were then often hung on a wall peg. Swaddling is still practiced in the Balkans, presumably because the babe feels more like it did in the womb. Many Native Americans once swaddled their papooses.

In Play: Of course, at this time of the year, we associate today's word with Luke 2:12 "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." (A much better translation than the more modern, "wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough".) However, you do not have to be a Christian to appreciate our word today: "Wash the car! Mow the lawn! Paint the porch! You have to quit swaddling me with so much work and let me relax on the weekends."

Word History: Today's Good Word probably comes to us from one of those English dialects where th becomes t or d (Brooklyn, Ireland, or down South today). It seems to have started out as a diminutive form or form indicating a frequent action (frequentative) of Old English swathian "to swath." So this word is very much like our recent Good Word passel, another mispronunciation of a word that went off on its own and worked its way back into the language as a new word.
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Re: Swaddle

Postby sluggo » Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:17 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:... where th becomes t or d (Brooklyn, Ireland, or down South today)...


Though I surely remember a friend who came from Limerick asking for a ride to "turdy-turd street" (ewww), I really don't hear this feature in the South specifically. Actually I heard it more often in Philly. Could it be called maybe a general blue-collar style?
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Re: Swaddle

Postby gailr » Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:47 pm

Swaddling dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who wrapped their infants in long strips of cloth, a process taking as long as two hours.

And my friends whined and moaned and complained and tried to weasel out from each other over the time it took to change a Pampers.


Swaddled babies were then often hung on a wall peg.

Clearly, someone needed to make an anonymous tip to Child Protection Services.
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby melissa » Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:04 pm

swathe -> swad definitely in Brooklyn, but as Sluggo said, not generally southern. And yes, child services would normally be called and in order if someone were caught doing that now. The biblical equivalent of locking the baby in a closet for its own good, the current idea being that it's healthy for a baby to learn the use if its limbs. I wonder how the ancient Egyptians were ever toilet trained, but sure it wasn't pleasant.
melissa
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:30 am


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests