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Addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded

  • Addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded are interesting words, with roots in the seventeenth century. We will examine the definition of the word addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    Addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded are all words that mean confused, muddled, unable to think properly. Addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded may also describe someone who is eccentric. The words addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded are all synonyms. Synonyms are two or more words that have exactly the same meaning, and are interchangeable. The words addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded are derived from an Old English term, adela, meaning liquid filth. In the seventeenth century the term adel eye came into use, meaning a rotten egg that does not hatch. The term addlepated soon followed. Note that the Oxford English Dictionary lists addlepated, addlebrained and addleheaded as closed compound words, which are two words joined without spaces or hyphens. However, these terms are sometimes seen with hyphens, as in addle-pated, addle-brained and addle-headed.

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    Examples

    Welcome to Cosmona, a “picture-postcard” Eden for the fallen, where the sun shines all the time and the loudest sound is the river’s murmur, and which is home to a rare assortment of the broken-hearted and the addlepated. (The Irish Times)

    Many lonely young people turned to comics in the 1970s and ’80s, not only for the stories, but also for the crazy, addlepated ads in the back: horoscopes, gag gifts and strange advice on nutrition. (The Los Angeles Times)

    The conclusion of longer work after 65 is an unfortunate deduction from the fact of coming of age during a world-historical economic crisis, not some addle-brained elderly scolding about The Kids Today. (The Week Magazine)

    He said the composer was “too fundamentally addle-headed to make anything great out of the delicious musical luxuries he wallowed in.” (The Telegraph)

     


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