- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈwɒfl/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈwɑfəl/, /ˈwɔ-/
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɒfəl
- Hyphenation: waf‧fle
The noun is borrowed from Dutch wafel (“waffle; wafer”), 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.
waffle (plural waffles)
- (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.
- (countable, Britain) In full potato waffle: a savoury flat potato cake with the same kind of grid pattern.
- (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.
- 1970, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Manual of Standard Practice
- (textiles, chiefly attributively) A type of fabric woven with a honeycomb texture.
- (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.
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”), 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”) + -le (diminutive or frequentative suffix). 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”), 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.
- (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".
- (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.
- (intransitive, aviation, road transport, colloquial) Of an aircraft or motor vehicle: to travel in a slow and unhurried manner.
- (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.
- (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.
- (transitive) To hold horizontally and rotate (one's hand) back and forth in a gesture of ambivalence or vacillation.
- (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.
- (intransitive, Britain, dialectal) Of a dog: to bark with a high pitch like a puppy, or in muffled manner.
waffle (plural waffles)
- ^ “waffle, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1921; “waffle2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “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.
- “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.
- ^ “-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.
- ^ “wāven, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- “waffle, n.2”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1921.
- ^ “waffle1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ Compare “waff, v.3”, in OED Online , 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.
waffle m or f (in variation) (plural waffles)
- waffle (type of flat pastry)
- wafle (less frequent spelling)
waffle m (plural waffles)