Maudlin vs modeling or modelling

Maudlin and modeling or modelling are words that are close in pronunciation, but have very different meanings. We will examine the definitions of maudlin and modeling or modelling, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

The word maudlin means extremely sentimental or weepy, self-pitying, overly tender or emotionally weak. Someone who is maudlin is emotional in a foolish or overdramatic way. The word maudlin has an interesting origin story. It begins with the New Testament and women who attended Jesus. Two women who washed Jesus’ feet as a form of penance appear in two separate stories. One of these women is Mary of Bethany, the other woman is unnamed. The unnamed woman washes Jesus’ feet with her tears. Pope Gregory the Great retold the story of the unnamed woman over five hundred years later, but he conflated this woman with Mary Magdalene. Ever after, Mary Magdalene was depicted in Christian art as a weepy and emotionally weak creature. During the Middle Ages the word Magdalene was rendered as Maudlin. Magdalene means a person from Magdala, a town situated on the Sea of Galilee. Today, the word maudlin means weepy and mawkish, a reference to the thousands of images rendering Mary Magdalene as a crying, emotionally sentimental woman, an undeserved depiction. Maudlin is an adjective, related words are the adverb maudlinly and the nouns maudlinism and maudlinness.

Modeling or modelling may mean the work that a fashion model performs, the physical construction of three-dimensional models or the construction of abstract or mathematical ideas. Modeling is the American spelling of the word, and modelling is the British spelling. Many words that end in l are spelled differently in American English and British English when adding a suffix, the American version consisting of only one l and the British version consisting of two. There is an interesting rule to follow to spell these words correctly. American words that end in l do not double the l when adding a suffix if the stress is on the first syllable of the word. For instance, canceled, traveled or funneled. American words that end in l double the l when adding a suffix if the stress is on a syllable other than the first syllable. For instance, annulled or controlled. British words that end in l always double the l when adding a suffix. Modeling is used as a noun or a verb. The word modeling is derived from model, which in turn is derived from the French word modelle meaning mold, and the suffix -ing.


One challenge on a show about grief, of course, is keeping the story, dialogue, and tone authentic and raw, without ever dipping into maudlin or sappy. (This Week)

Critics complain Collins’ catalog relies on corny lyrics and maudlin melodies and miss that his drumming on such songs as “I Missed Again,” “Follow You Follow Me” and — of course — “In the Air Tonight” changed how people played, recorded and produced drums for a generation. (The Boston Herald)

Taher Kahil, the IIASA researcher who led the development of the Extended Continental-scale Hydroeconomic Optimization (ECHO) model, explains that hydroeconomic modeling is rarely used over scales larger than a basin, and especially not at continental-scale. (Science Daily)

During the 57th installment of the lecture series, Manning explored how mathematical modeling could be used in determining the dosing of antibiotics. (Meredith College News)

Michelle lost her father to cancer as a teen and coincidentally attended the modelling job for Lorraine on what would have been his birthday. (The Braintree and Witham Times)

Leave a Comment