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Daily Trivia

Question: Why do we say that an over-protected boy is being 'mollycoddled' ?

Take your time.


And, The Answer Is:

The Answer:

The roots of this word go back several hundred years.

Caudle, which appears to be the source of coddle, was a gently boiled, slightly alcoholic, watery porridge that was good for what ailed you – a precursor of medicinal chicken soup.

Coddle first meant to parboil, the way caudle was made, and would suggest not so much smothering protectiveness as cannibalism.

But the present meaning of coddle, treating someone as if he or she were helpless or ill, more directly evokes “caudle.”

Molly was once a nickname for Mary, with mollycoddling implying treatment of a boy in an unmanly fashion.

And what could that cause?

Well, “Miss Molly” was 17th century slang for a homosexual.

All of which suggests that those people who do deep analysis of popular culture ought to revisit Little Richard’s classic 1950s rock n’ roll song, “Good Golly Miss Molly,” and report back.

Or, maybe not....

(Source: DICTIONARY OF WORD ORIGINS by Jordan Almond)

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(Please note that these columns are written several weeks in advance so publishing the humor will be delayed accordingly.)

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