waffle

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See also: Waffle

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

A waffle (sense 1).
The underside of a waffle floor (sense 3).

Etymology 1[edit]

The noun is borrowed from Dutch wafel (waffle; wafer),[1] from Middle Dutch wafel, wafele, wavel, from Old Dutch *wāvila, from Proto-Germanic *wēbilǭ, *wēbilō, possibly related to Proto-Indo-European *webʰ- (to braid, weave) (whence Dutch weven (to weave) and English weave), and possibly reinforced by German Waffel (waffle; wafer). The English word is a doublet of wafer.

The verb (“to smash”) derives from the manner in which batter is pressed into the shape of a waffle between the two halves of a waffle iron.

Noun[edit]

waffle (plural waffles)

  1. (countable, originally US) A flat pastry pressed with a grid pattern, often eaten hot with butter and/or honey or syrup.
    The brunch was waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.
  2. (countable, Britain) In full potato waffle: a savoury flat potato cake with the same kind of grid pattern.
  3. (construction, also attributively) A concrete slab used in flooring with a gridlike structure of ribs running at right angles to each other on its underside.
    • 1970, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Manual of Standard Practice
      Both joists and slab are cast in place to form a monolithic unit, integral with the supporting beams and columns. The joists form a characteristic waffle pattern on the underside. Structural design of joist construction: one-way or waffle flat slab []
    • 1993, Harry Parker, James Ambrose, Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders:
      The most widely used type of waffle construction is the waffle flat slab, in which solid portions around column supports are [] These beams may be produced as projections below the waffle, as shown []
    • 2008, Edward G. Nawy, Concrete Construction Engineering Handbook, CRC Press (→ISBN), page 9:
      In one-way (pan joist) and two-way (waffle) joist construction, a similar layout is usually adopted.
  4. (textiles, chiefly attributively) A type of fabric woven with a honeycomb texture.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

waffle (third-person singular simple present waffles, present participle waffling, simple past and past participle waffled)

  1. (transitive, slang) To smash (something).
    • 1995, Peter Allen David, The Incredible Hulk: What savage beast:
      The cab was waffled in between the two, Marsh never having a prayer or even a full comprehension of what happened to him. He was crushed flat, never even hearing the deafening screech of metal.
    • 1997, Bill Conlin, Kevin Kerrane (editor), "Batting cleanup, Bill Conlin", page 121:
      These were not the Cowboys who were waffled, 45–14, here at mid-season. They came prepared to play a championship football game, with an ultra-conservative game plan suited to the horrendous turf conditions, and came close to pulling it off [...]
    • 2005, Shawn Michaels, with Aaron Feigenbaum, Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story, Page 47:
      Then I waffled him and knocked him down. Why I cut myself open with the razor, I'm not completely sure. I was like the idiot in a bar who gets all worked up and smashes a bottle over his head [...]
    • 2006, Gordon Forbes, Tales from the Eagles Sideline (updated edition), page 2:
      Bednarik, however, says the play became legendary only because of the circumstances. "I did it [...] to the top honcho. He just happened to be there and the pass was thrown to him. I waffled him cleanly." [...] "He just cold-cocked Frank," said linebacker Bob Pellegrini, whose injury sent Bednarik into the game to play defense.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The verb is borrowed from Scots waffle (to waver, flap, flutter; to cause to flap or wave; to move uncertainly, stagger, totter; (figuratively) to vacillate, waver; of the wind: to gust, especially in different directions; to crease, wrinkle; to confuse, tangle; to become limp or soft; a flapping, waving; a tossing about, as if by wind; weak gust of wind; light fall of snow; loosely woven or thin cloth; feeble person; flexible; feeble, weak),[2] from waff (to wag, wave; to flap, flutter; to agitate the air, to fan; of an air current or wind: to blow, waft; to set moving, drive; to scatter with a flapping or waving movement; flapping or waving movement, a flutter; signal made by waving; banner, flag; air current, draft, puff; material blown about by the wind; slight aroma, whiff; soft sound, murmur; quick view, glimpse; slight touch, glancing blow; mild illness; short experience (especially of something pleasant); apparition, ghost)[3] + -le (diminutive or frequentative suffix).[4] Waff is derived from Early Scots waff (signal; gust of wind; glimpse; a flapping, waving), from Northern Middle English wafe, waffe, a variant of waven (to move to and fro, sway; to stray, wander; (figuratively) to follow a weaving course; (figuratively) to vacillate, waver; to move something to and fro, wave) (whence wave), from Old English wafian (to wave),[3][5] from Proto-Germanic *wabōną, *wabjaną (to sway; to wander), from Proto-Indo-European *webʰ- (to braid, weave).

Regarding sense 5 (“to speak or write (something) at length without any clear aim or point”), compare Old English wæflian (to talk foolishly), possibly ultimately from Proto-Germanic *babalōną (to babble, chatter), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰā- (to say) and/or Proto-Indo-European *baba- (to talk vaguely; to mumble). The Oxford English Dictionary does not derive the English word waffle from this Old English word.

The noun is derived from the verb.[6][7]

Verb[edit]

waffle (third-person singular simple present waffles, present participle waffling, simple past and past participle waffled)

  1. (intransitive) To speak or write evasively or vaguely.
    Synonym: beat around the bush
    • 1970, John Galloway, The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, page 115:
      Again the answer was "waffled," for this did not say that no air units had been alerted. Only that none had been "identified." Moreover, the reply concerned air "unit[s]" as opposed to "air craft".
  2. (intransitive) Of a bird: to move in a side-to-side motion while descending before landing.
    Synonym: whiffle
    The geese waffled as they approached the water.
  3. (intransitive, aviation, road transport, colloquial) Of an aircraft or motor vehicle: to travel in a slow and unhurried manner.
  4. (intransitive, originally Northern England, Scotland, colloquial) To be indecisive about something; to dither, to vacillate, to waver.
    Synonym: blow hot and cold
    • 2011, Tony Hefner, Between the Fences:
      I waffled between going to the deposition and going to the doctor's. Wishing Barbara was there, I decided to call the doctor afterward.
  5. (transitive, intransitive) Often followed by on: to speak or write (something) at length without any clear aim or point; to ramble.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:prattle
    • 1976 Tony Hatch, So you want to be in the music business, Everest Books, p68
      Unless you have a great line in gags or repartee don't waffle on aimlessly to your audience, or make in-jokes among yourselves, the band or the compere/DJ.
    • 1984 "Apiary Antics- No.5," British bee journal, Volumes 112-113, p68
      Before getting down to the nitty gritty of beekeeping, most contributors to BBJ like to waffle on for a bit about the weather, the state of their garden or something equally inconsequential.
    • 2005 Bill Condon, No Worries, Univ. of Queensland Press, p78
      She waffled on for ages. Usually I'd say something smart or make it obvious that I wasn't interested and couldn't be bothered listening.
    • 2006 Carl Storm, A Mighty Fine Way to Live and Die, Backstrap Ltd, p8
      The whole thing ended suddenly when the hotel manager arrived. He waffled on for a bit; this settled everyone down.
  6. (transitive) To hold horizontally and rotate (one's hand) back and forth in a gesture of ambivalence or vacillation.
    • 2007, Michael Koryta, Sorrow’s Anthem, Macmillan, →ISBN, page 146:
      [] You get anything useful on the background checks?” / He waffled his hand. “Nothing like what you brought back, but still some interesting notes. []
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

waffle (uncountable)

  1. (colloquial) (Often lengthy) speech or writing that is evasive or vague, or pretentious.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:chatter
    This interesting point seems to get lost a little within a lot of self-important waffle.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Possibly from waff ((dialectal) to bark, woof) (imitative of a dog’s yelp)[6][8] + -le (diminutive or frequentative suffix).

Verb[edit]

waffle (third-person singular simple present waffles, present participle waffling, simple past and past participle waffled)

  1. (intransitive, Britain, dialectal) Of a dog: to bark with a high pitch like a puppy, or in muffled manner.

Noun[edit]

waffle (plural waffles)

  1. (Britain, dialectal) The high-pitched sound made by a young dog; also, a muffled bark.
See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ waffle, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1921; “waffle2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ waffle, v., n., adj.”, in The Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries, 2004–, OCLC 57069714, reproduced from W[illiam] Grant and D[avid] D. Murison, editors, The Scottish National Dictionary, Edinburgh: Scottish National Dictionary Association, 1931–1976, →OCLC.
  3. 3.0 3.1 waff, v.1, n.1”, in The Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries, 2004–, OCLC 57069714, reproduced from W[illiam] Grant and D[avid] D. Murison, editors, The Scottish National Dictionary, Edinburgh: Scottish National Dictionary Association, 1931–1976, →OCLC.
  4. ^ -le, suff.”, in The Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries, 2004–, OCLC 57069714, reproduced from W[illiam] Grant and D[avid] D. Murison, editors, The Scottish National Dictionary, Edinburgh: Scottish National Dictionary Association, 1931–1976, →OCLC.
  5. ^ wāven, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  6. 6.0 6.1 waffle, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1921.
  7. ^ waffle1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  8. ^ Compare “waff, v.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1921; “WAFFLE, v.2 and sb.1” in Joseph Wright, editor, The English Dialect Dictionary: [], volume VI (T–Z, Supplement, Bibliography and Grammar), London: Published by Henry Frowde, [], publisher to the English Dialect Society, []; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905, →OCLC, page 357, column 2.

Further reading[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English waffle.

Noun[edit]

waffle m (plural waffles)

  1. waffle (type of flat pastry)

Spanish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • wafle (less frequent spelling)

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English waffle.

Noun[edit]

waffle m (plural waffles)

  1. (Latin America) waffle (type of flat pastry)
    Synonym: gofre (Spain)

Related terms[edit]