Last modified on 28 November 2014, at 14:18

waffle

EnglishEdit

A waffle (pastry).

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

The Dutch word wafel was adopted into English in the 1700s. The Dutch word, in turn, derives from the Middle Low German wāfel (modern German Waffel), which was borrowed into Middle English around 1377 as wafer, and which is also the source of the French gaufre. Wāfel, in turn, derives from the Old High German waba, wabo (modern German Wabe), meaning honeycomb and ultimately related to the word weave. The verb sense "to smash" derives from the manner in which waffle-batter is smashed into its shape between the two halves of a waffle iron, and the sense "to press a waffle pattern into" derives from the pattern the waffle-iron-halves impart.

NounEdit

waffle (plural waffles)

  1. (countable) A flat pastry pressed with a grid pattern.
    The brunch was waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.
  2. (countable, UK) A potato waffle, a savoury flat potato cake with the same kind of grid pattern.
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VerbEdit

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

  1. To smash.
    • 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.

Etymology 2Edit

From the Scots waffle, "to waver, to flutter", a variation of the Scots waff ("to flutter, to wave", related to wave), with the suffix -le added. Alternatively, perhaps derived from waff, an imitation of a dog's (unintelligible and thus meaningless) yelp (cf woof). Also note Old English wæflian (to talk foolishly).

NounEdit

waffle (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable) Speech or writing that is vague, pretentious or evasive.
    This interesting point seems to get lost a little within a lot of self-important waffle.
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VerbEdit

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

  1. (of birds) To move in a side-to-side motion and descend (lose altitude) before landing. Cf wiffle, whiffle.
    The geese waffled as they approached the water.
  2. To speak or write vaguely and evasively.
    • 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".
  3. To speak or write at length without any clear point or aim.
    • 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.
  4. To vacillate.
    He waffles between loving the movie and hating it, depending on who's asking.
  5. (transitive) To rotate (one's hand) back and forth in a gesture of vacillation or ambivalence.
    • 2007, Michael Koryta, Sorrow’s Anthem, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-312-93660-0, 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. []
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PortugueseEdit

NounEdit

waffle m (plural waffles)

  1. waffle (type of flat pastry)