Wobbler and wobbly

I wrote the other day about having a wobble…. it seems more than a wobble, I just seem to be going round in circles with the new story… I know it will be fine in the end but I’m that ‘wading through treacle’ stage. I feel as if I’m doing a piece of knitting with lots of different colours, and with different patterns, and I’ve got confused and made a mistake… I think I should just press on,keep knitting, and then unpick the mistakes afterwards when I can see not only which design I like, but which is the best, and best suits the sort of novel I want to write.

Wobble is a funny word, isn’t it,it no doubt comes from the Low German word wabbeln, which is related to an Old English words ̄fre and wæflian; wæfre means restless which isn’t exactly wobbly, but along the same lines, and it developed into waver, and wæflian became waffle…. something I am very familiar with as I seem to do a lot of it when speaking and when writing!.  There is also  an Old Norse word, vafla which means to toddle as in to walk unsteadily, so that’s another wobbly sort of origin!

Then there is the entertaining phrase ‘to throw a wobbler’ or throw a wobbly’, meaning to completely lose your temper, to have a tantrum, to react in an over the top and uncontrolled way… There is no one source of it, but it seems to have emerged in 1940’s America and 1970’s Australia… but it is such a wonderfully visual description, it’s no wonder it has taken off! I think I might use it in my novel today!


One Comment

  1. mariathermann

    Wobble also reminds me of warble, that trilling sound birds and opera singers produce…in connection with your (and my!) current writing dilemma not a bad word either. Let’s warble and wobble on with our stories and see where those infernally headstrong characters we have created take us. Love the jitterbugging penguin!


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