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WAFFLE

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WAFFLE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:50 pm

• waffle •


Pronunciation: wah-fêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, Verb

Meaning: 1. (Noun) A pancake cooked in a waffle iron that gives it crosshatched surfaces. 2. (Verb) To waver, to vacillate, to hesitate because of being unsure, to be indecisive.

Notes: Today we offer you yet two more words for the price of one—and a very good price at that. (However, today's Word History will show that 5,000 years ago, they were one and the same.) If you waffle, you're a waffler given to waffling. The adjective is waffling, too, as in 'a waffling judge held up the final score'.

In Play: Among the punny headlines in our Laughing Stock, you will find this famous headline from the British press during the Falkland War: "British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands." It shows how these two words can lead to confusion. (Left can be a verb or refer to the British left political wing.) Here is a way to use both words without confusion: "Janice waffled so long between choosing pancakes or waffles for breakfast that the waitress left her table in a huff."

Word History: The noun waffle was borrowed from Dutch wafel "waffle" probably because the Dutch are known for their inventive pancakes. The verb waffle would seem to be a diminutive of obsolete waff, meaning to wave a little. Waft, as in 'a flag wafting in the breeze', is an old past tense of waff, itself a variant of wave. Now, wave and weave also share the same ultimate ancestor, PIE webh- "to weave", which also turns up in Modern English web. The back and forth movement of weaving quite expectably led to the sense of indecision, while the crisscross pattern of weaving led to the sense of the Dutch noun wafel. (We do not waffle in offering our deepest gratitude to Mike Groman of the Alpha Agora, for suggesting today's two Good Words.)
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:38 pm

Pancakes mde in a waffle iron? Then why would I swear waffles taste different from pancakes? Do they cook more evenly, or develop more crispness on the outside ridges? I'm making myself hungry here, so let's jump to something totally different:
where does "huff" come from?
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby gailr » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:41 pm

How about "waffle weave" fabric?

My brother loves waffles; the first year he was married he told all the relatives that his bride really wanted a train set and a waffle iron for Christmas. :D

Perry Lassiter wrote:where does "huff" come from?
From exhalation, apparently. Although "sigh" fits better with waffles than "huff", yeah? Unless one is metaphorically inhaling them, I suppose...
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:18 am

Waffles are crispier than pancakes and the little waffle indentions hold more butter and maple syrup. What's not to like? My dear wife says she uses slightly different recipes for waffles and pancakes. St. Louis World Fair, an ice cream vendor ran out of bowls for his customers to eat their ice cream from. There was a Belgian waffle vendor next door and he crafted a waffle in the shape of a cone, these two vendors invented the ice cream cone. Have you who live in or travel in England or Europe noticed the vast amount of ice cream consumed there? It makes Americans look like pikers.
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Re: WAFFLE joke

Postby askiles » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:02 am

I just could not decide whether or not to start a pancake restaurant, so finally I just waffled.
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:51 am

Love it, askiles!
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Re: WAFFLE joke

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:21 pm

askiles wrote:I just could not decide whether or not to start a pancake restaurant, so finally I just waffled.



:D
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby MTC » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:25 pm

Good one, askiles!
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby Slava » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:36 pm

If I remember correctly, the Doonesbury strip's character for Bill Clinton was a syrup-dripping waffle.
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Re: WAFFLE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:32 pm

AhSo: correct you are.
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