Printable Version
Pronunciation: dri-vêl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Baloney, blarney, codswallop, crapola, folderol, hogwash, hooey, nonsense, poppycock, tommyrot, twaddle. 2. (Archaic) Spittle oozing from the mouth, drool, slobber or mucus dropping from the nose, snot.

Notes: Drivel is the proper synonym for all the slang and colloquial words above. This word may be used as a verb, which seems to have been completely assimilated by English for the personal noun is driveller (or driveler) and the present participle serves as an adjective and action noun, drivelling (or driveling).

In Play: Drivel implies the absence of sense or rationality: "The talk show host made several good points that were lost in a sea of complete drivel." It is often associated with politics: "Siddie Hall's latest ad is a combination of banal political drivel and true untutored garbage."

Word History: Today's Good Word is an authentic English word handed down from its Germanic ancestors. In Old English it was dreflian "to slaver, slobber" from Proto-Germanic drabliyana probably built on PIE dher-/dhor- "cloudy liquid dregs, yeast". With metathesis, it is also the source of Latin fraces "oil yeast", Albanian dra "sediment", English drab and draff "dregs (brewer's leftover), slop", and Russian drozhzhi "yeast". Without metathesis, it is found in Lithuanian dírgti "to run down, defile" and dargana "bad weather", Latvian derdzīgs "obnoxious, disgusting", English dark, and Irish draoib "mud, dirt".

Dr. Goodword,

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