Printable Version
Pronunciation: græw-lê-ri Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A place to retreat to in order to sulk in peace when in a bad mood or ill-humored.

Notes: No, this word never meant a place to go to drink beer from a growler. It is a place where you can sulk about your bad luck. It is composed of growl + -ery, a place suffix as in eatery, bakery, and brewery.

In Play: A growlery is a place where we may growl at things in our life unheard and in peace: "Sit down, my dear," said Mr. Jarndyce. "This, you must know, is the Growlery. When I am out of humour, I come and growl here." (Charles Dickens, Bleak House 1853). However, growling no longer is required: "Marshall has a nook in the corner of the basement that is his growlery, where he can brood in peace over the Cubs' losses."

Word History: In Middle English growl was groulen, grollen "to growl, rumble" (of the bowels). It might a touchup of Old French grouller "to growl, grumble", from Frankish grullen, but this word would seem to have come from Old English gryllan "to gnash (teeth), be angry". The Middle English word is more likely a cognate with Middle Dutch grollen "to croak, grumble, murmur", modern Dutch grollen "to grumble" and German grollen "to rumble; be angry", both from Proto-Germanic gruljana "to growl, grumble, rumble". Gruljana seems to have based on Proto-Indo-European gher-/ghor- "bowels", source also of Icelandic görn, Lithuanian žarna, and Latvian zarnas "gut, bowels, intestines". (So, here is yet another debt we owe the mysterious Grogie of the eccentric vocabulary, who has been haunting the Agora since 2005.)

Dr. Goodword,

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