worrywart

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Attested 1956, I. BELKNAP Human Problems of State Mental Hospitals x. 177[1] In cartoon Out Our Way by J. R. Williams, there is a character by that name. Earlier examples from newspapers of the 1930s and 1940s.[2]

Presumably related to earlier worryguts.

From worry; “wart” apparently chosen for alliteration.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

worrywart (plural worrywarts)

  1. A person who worries excessively, especially about unimportant matters.
    • 2005, Hal Edward Runkel, Screamfree Parenting: Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool, page 31:
      It doesn't mean you're a worrywart, a nervous wreck or in need of heavy medication.
    • 2008, Nicole L.V. Mullis, "Vacation renders kids, adult males impervious to danger", Battle Creek Enquirer online, August 17:
      On vacation, I'm a worrywart for fretting about third-degree burns and puncture wounds.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884-1928, and First Supplement, 1933
  2. ^ Word Craft Forum: Worry Wort