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MOLLYCODDLE

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MOLLYCODDLE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:03 am

• mollycoddle •

Pronunciation: mah-li-kah-dêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive & Noun

Meaning: 1. [Verb] To pamper, to coddle, to treat in an overly protective way, as you would a child. 2. [Noun] An effeminate man or boy.

Notes: A question I'm sure you often hear is, which is preferable: to overindulge, to spoil, to pamper, to coddle, or mollycoddle someone? To pamper someone is to give them everything they want, especially luxury items. To overindulge means to allow them to have their way more than they should. To spoil means to pamper someone to the point that it harms their character, while to coddle or mollycoddle means to treat as a child, to overprotect them.

In Play: Here is a playful word that you can use liberally around the house: "Stop mollycoddling that lazy brother of yours and make him do some housework this weekend." Hope she doesn't turn around and say, "Should I stop mollycoddling you and expect the same from you?" Don't leave the noun mollycoddle behind: "I like Curly Hair but I'm not sure a mollycoddle like him would help our rugby team much."

Word History: Today's Good Word is actually a compound noun based on molly "an effeminate man" plus coddle "to undercook; to be slack on discipline". "Molly" was originally a nickname for "Mary" but, like the nickname for "John", "Jack", it soon took on a life of its own. Coddle originally meant "cook an egg in water without boiling it," hence undercooking it. From this sense of underdoing something to "underdoing discipline" is but a very short hop.
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Postby Garzo » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:11 am

I had always thought that Molly was short for Margaret rather than Mary. A molly happens to be a fish too: undercooked? Also, even though I know a few Jacks who are formally Johns, I thought that Jack, being short for Jacob, meant James. What's in a name?

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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:32 am

I thought that Jack, being short for Jacob, meant James.

I thought that was Jake. What's in two nouns?

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Postby anders » Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:47 am

Coddle originally meant "cook an egg in water without boiling it," hence undercooking it.

Not necessarily undercooking. If you immerse a medium-sized egg in water of 80 deg C, and leave it for 10 minutes, it will be very nicely soft-boiled. The centre temperature will be just above 65 deg C, the yolk will be quite runny, and the white firm all through. Mmmmm.

At 70, though, you might get a hard yolk in a rather runny white. Yuck.

But I'm more interested in the curious fact that the name "יעקב (Ja'aqob, German Jakob, early Swedish Jakop, Jap, Jåp and Jeppe (the last one like in Danish/Norwegian), Danish Ib (via Jep), english James (including petnames Jim and Jimmy), Finnish Jaakko, French Jacques, Italian Giacomo and Spanish Jaime" (adapted from the Swedish National Encyclopedia) in English is Jacob in the OT but James in the NT. In modern Swedish, it's always Jakob.
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Postby Flaminius » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:48 am

you forgot "vov."
יעקוב

desho?
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Postby Flaminius » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:53 am

BTW, John is from יוחנן, God has been gracious.

And I am not very happy with Js pronounced [dzj] in English.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:10 pm

Spanish Jaime"

And Portuguese Jaime as well.

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Postby anders » Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:19 pm

Flaminius wrote:you forgot "vov."
יעקוב

desho?

No, I didn't. There are five only instances using the waw , but the majority has none.
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