Monday, April 27, 2015

A-to-Z Challenge: W

We’re in the home stretch now! I’m suddenly feeling revitalized! So here’s wilt!

Wilt is fairly recent in that it showed up in the late seventeenth century. Amusingly enough, it comes from another English word that we don’t have anymore, welk. No, not whelk. This welk meant wilt, so I’m pretty sure. Anyway, welk comes from the Middle Dutch/Middle Low German word welkan, which is to wither and likely related to the Old High German irwelhen, become soft. Before that we’re back to Proto Germanic, where it’s welk again (fluctuating levels of complication; that’s language for you), and even earlier, it’s the Proto Indo European welg, which means wet (no, no idea how/why that switched). There’s also another word in English that comes from welg: welkin, meaning sky, which I never heard of before. Awesome points to anyone who can use that in a sentence and not sound ridiculous.



  1. It's sad that some words (like welk) die out.

  2. So strange that the word showed up so late. What did they call it before then?

  3. I think I've seen welkin before...
    Now, I'm going to have to go look.

  4. I think the only time welk is used anymore is for that dead Lawrence Welk fellow.

  5. I'm pretty sure I've seen welkin before, but I think it was in a fantasy setting, and I don't remember how it was used.

  6. We may have wilted during parts of the challenge, but we are remaining victorious, cruising to the end!


  7. Well, things are more likely to wither and wilt in the wet, and if these words originated in the British Isles and mainland Europe, the welkin is cloudy and rainy most of the time. It's adding up for me. Mind you, they wilt in extreme heat too - hmm...

    Glad you're not wilting in the last few days, but it'll be interesting to see your X. I'm sitting here staring at my dictionary which literally has 20 words for x, and I don't have a story for any of them...

  8. Nope, can't use welkin in a sentence without sounding like a loon, sorry ;) Language is so complex!
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)


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