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Frazzle

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Frazzle

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:37 pm

• frazzle •


Pronunciation: fræz-êl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To wear away at the edges, fray, ravel at the edges. 2. To exhaust physically or emotionally.

Notes: I haven't heard this word in a long time. Growing up in North Carolina, I heard it often, almost every day. When people were dog tired, they would say, "I'm frazzled." It may be used as a noun: you may work yourself into a frazzle or be in a frazzle. The present participle, frazzling, for example, in a frazzling experience, functions as easily as a noun as an adjective.

In Play: When you are unusually tired, you're frazzled: "I slept through most of the movie, I was so frazzled from work." The body isn't the only thing that frazzles easily: "It frazzles my mind to even think about the workout my trainer laid out for me." Now don't forget the first sense of today's word: "Both ends of the rope were frazzled."

Word History: Frazzle seems to be a blend of fray and dialectal fazzle "to ravel", no doubt an offspring of obsolete fasel "to ravel". Fasel was derived from fas "border, fringe", which was faes in Old English. Where faes came from is anyone's guess. We know a little more about fray. It was borrowed from French frayer "to rub" from Old French freiier "to run", a hand-me-down from Latin fricare "to rub". The noun from this verb was frictio(n) "a rubbing down", which English picked up directly from Latin as friction.
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Re: Frazzle

Postby wurdpurrson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:45 am

In my childhood, I remember this word used as "My nerves are frazzled" by someone who'd been subjected to a harrowing experience like spending all day with a roomful of cranky 2-year-olds. :shock:
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Re: Frazzle

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:52 am

My dad used frazzlin' as a mild swear word. He never used any real swear words.
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Re: Frazzle

Postby wurdpurrson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:12 am

My dad could cut loose with some choice swear words if the situation was provocative enough. But my mother used her favorite brother's all-around swear word when she was frazzled enough to need one: rafferiliackapackaroomer! (phonetic spelling, with the accent on the first syllable and the rest following quickly). It was quite impressive and told us that she really had reached her limit of patience, so beware, children, and push no more!
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Re: Frazzle

Postby call_copse » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:47 am

The other meaning we'd hear in the UK of burned / dried out / destroyed by heat. (For instance a circuit's electronics might be frazzled by a electricity spike, or one's hair might be frazzled by excessive blow drying). I have to say I'm not convinced about the fazzle thing - I like the background given here, related to friable:

http://www.edenics.net/english-word-ori ... rd=FRAZZLE

Also in the UK Frazzles are a popular brand of bacon flavoured corn snacks, which vegetarians often purchase as they contain no actual meat.
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Re: Frazzle

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:34 am

Farmers talk about friable soil. I think I had rather eat fried worms than fried soil.
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Re: Frazzle

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Big word as a boy. Grandmother used it a lot.
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Re: Frazzle

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:13 pm

Frazzled is a normal part of the vocabulary down here. Regarding cursing, I developed a Spanish phrase that can be shouted out in frustration and sounds like you said something terrible. Tres mil diablos! Esta no me gusta ni un poquito! Add a caramba at the beginning, and everyone is stunned!
Last edited by Perry Lassiter on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frazzle

Postby wurdpurrson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:51 pm

In regards to hair being frazzled in the UK, it also can be in the US, to the point of being frizzy. And electric wires/electronic circuits can be fried by a short or overload. Such a versatile family are these words.

And Perry, your Spanish curse es muy impressivo!
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