Sunday, February 6, 2011


More and more I really enjoy words.

I thought of the word "whelmed" earlier today.  In my little brain it should mean not quite overwhelmed.  Like "Wow, crazy!" but not, "Whoa, I can't take this!"  Don't you think?

The dictionary doesn't agree.

The Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "whelmed" as "Covered, as by being plunged or immersed."  It has no overwhelm.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines "whelm" as:

1.  to turn (as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something : cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect
2.  to overcome in thought or feeling

It defines "overwhelm" as:

1.  upset, overthrow
2.  a. to cover over completely : submerge
     b. to overcome by superior force or numbers
     c. to overpower in thought or feeling (The same as whelm - how can that be when you add "over" to it?)

Then get this.  The Free Dictionary online defines "whelm" as:

1. to engulf entirely with or as if with water

2. another word for overwhelm (What???  There we go again!)

I like their "overwhelm" definitions the best:

1. to overpower the thoughts, emotions, or senses of
2. to overcome with irresistible force
3. to overcome, as with a profusion or concentration of something
4. to cover over or bury completely
5. to weigh or rest upon overpoweringly

I like my personal definition of whelmed.  Maybe if we all started using it according to the definition like unto "to weigh or rest upon somewhat," "to heavily weigh the thoughts, emotions, or senses of" we could start a new trend.  I think whelm would be a fun word to use.