Coddle vs. Caudle

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Coddle and caudle are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words coddle and caudle, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Coddle means to indulge someone, to pamper someone or overprotect him, to treat him as if he were a delicate flower. Coddle may also mean to cook an egg in hot water that is below the boiling point, rendering a type of soft-boiled egg. Coddle is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are coddles, coddled, coddling. The word coddle is derived from the Latin word caldum which means hot drink.

Caudle is a hot drink made with warm wine or ale and fortified with bread, gruel, spices, and sugar; it is usually made for someone who is ill. The word caudle is also derived from the Latin word caldum and has been in use since the 1200s.


“The fact that you are coddling her right now, and yelling at me and calling me a bully, either you don’t know what happened, you’re uninformed,” Leva told Austen. (Daily Mail)

FEW STATES coddle landlords as indulgently as does Maryland, where it’s open season on tenants all year, every year.  (Washington Post)

According to author Diane Morris, caudle was a ”warm drink made by mixing a thin gruel of oatmeal with wine or ale, spices, and sugar”. (Evening Standard)

In addition to syllabub, there were two other popular colonial Christmas drinks — caudles and possets. (Daily Progress)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: