collywobbles

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noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction col·ly·wob·bles \ˈkä-lē-ˌwä-bəlz\

Definition of collywobbles

collywobbles was our Word of the Day on 10/30/2014. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

We don't know who first clutched his or her tummy and called the affliction "collywobbles," but we do know the word's earliest print appearance dates from around 1823. We also know that the word probably came about through a process called "folk etymology." In that process, unusual words are transformed to make them look or sound like other, more familiar words. Collywobbles is believed to be a friendlier-sounding transformation of cholera morbus (the New Latin term for the disease cholera) that was influenced by the words colic and wobble.

Origin and Etymology of collywobbles

perhaps by folk etymology from New Latin cholera morbus, literally, the disease cholera


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