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Boggle the mind and mind-boggling

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  • Boggle the mind and mind-boggling are terms that have their roots in the sixteenth century, though their current use only became popular in the 1950s. We will examine the meanings of the terms boggle the mind and mind-boggling, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

    To boggle the mind means to baffle someone, to astonish or overwhelm someone. The term begins with the word boggle, which dates back to the sixteenth century. At that time, boggle was mostly used to describe the state of a startled horse. The word boggle is most probably derived from the dialect word bogle, which meant an unseen specter. Presumably, these unseen specters were blamed for startled horses. Today, the word boggle is almost exclusively used in the phrase boggle the mind or the adjective form, mind-boggling. Note that when used as an adjective before a noun, the term is hyphenated. Boggle is an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related terms are boggles the mind, boggled the mind, boggling the mind.

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    Examples

    What should boggle the mind, however, is the rationale that while ex-RAW chief A S Dulat regards the current state of affairs in Kashmir “scarier” and “hopeless”, he didn’t cite the use of pellet guns, violation of the Geneva conventions by sniping ambulances and scores of other heinous humanitarian infringements by the Indian forces. (The Express Tribune)

    Sidney masterfully shows Julian’s astonishingly rapid growth and evolution from a newly conscious being to a perpetually curious student eager to soak up knowledge and understanding and, finally, so far past any point imagined or projected by his creators as to boggle the mind — and chill the blood. (The Los Angeles Daily News)

    A mind-boggling picture is doing the rounds of the Internet and you’ll have to knuckle down your mind to get to the end of it. (The Indian Express)

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