Word of the Day : January 2, 2011

flummox

play
verb FLUM-uks

Definition

: confuse

Did You Know?

No one is completely sure where the word "flummox" comes from, but we do know that its first known use is found in Charles Dickens' 1837 novel The Pickwick Papers and that it had become quite common in both British and American English by the end of the 19th century. One theory expressed by some etymologists is that it was influenced by "flummock," a word of English dialectical origin used to refer to a clumsy person. This "flummock" may also be the source of the word "lummox," which also means "a clumsy person."


Examples

Ruth was flummoxed by the angry outburst and wild accusations that greeted her mild complaint.

"Several traffic signals around the county seem to be less intuitive than others, judging by some of the mail the Doc receives. One that regularly flummoxes drivers is on northbound Seminole Boulevard at the intersection of Ulmerton Road." -- From an article by Lorrie Lykins in St. Petersburg Times (Florida), November 14, 2010



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