Did You Know?
No one is completely sure where the word flummox comes from, but we do know that early use can be 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."
"A computer glitch at the IRS knocked offline the agency's ability to process many tax returns filed electronically, a stunning breakdown that left agency officials flummoxed and millions of Americans bewildered." — Jeff Stein, Damian Paletta, and Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2018
"The reason for math's bad rap is that the very same teachers and parents who have psychic scars from their own inability to correctly memorize their multiplication tables in the fourth grade are today completely flummoxed by elementary school kids' homework." — Esther J. Cepeda, The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey), 26 Apr. 2018
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