I was using the word ‘welter’ in something I’m working on with some friends, another anthology – and I used the word welter. When I was checking its origin I found that it came from the Dutch or old German and meant to roll or twist.


I was meaning it in the sense of a mass of something or a lot of something – even a clutter or muddle of something, but welter can mean other things these days. In the sense I used the word it can also mean a muddle of something, a confusing mess of something. In the rolling sense it can also be a way of describing tumbling waves, for example…. and from this it can mean to wallow in something, and even to luxuriate in something – can imagine wallowing in a bath, but weltering in a bath? That sounds odd to me!

Weltering means rolling, but rolling around in rough seas or blown by hurricanes when things are tumbled  and tossed about. When i was looking the word up I even came across a meaning which is to be lying in a pool of blood, or to be soaked in blood

Then there’s welter meaning how heavy something is – a welterweight boxer, for example.Originally it was applied to horsemen and then moved over to boxers or fighters – however, as I understand it, this word came from welt, meaning a wound or mark. Welt is also a shoemaker’s last – the word coming from the same origin as welter… we’re going round in circles here!

Merriam Webster has it: welt –

  1. a strip between a shoe sole and upper through which they are stitched or stapled together
  2. a doubled edge, strip, insert, or seam (as on a garment) for ornament or reinforcement


Welterweight boxers – I’ve looked at a list of champions and the only names I know are Floyd Mayweather Jr and Sugar Ray Robinson; boxers of that weight have to be between 140 and 147 pounds in weight – I don’t know whether it’s the same for other martial arts which have adopted the term.

Lastly, and going back to the soaked in blood meaning… apparently there is a band called ‘Welter in Thy Blood’ – it is, as you might guess, “a three piece black, ambient, funeral, doom band from Los Angeles”. And what genre? Drone Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal.  You can find them on YouTube… if you really want to!

My featured image is of weltering water tumbling over an Icelandic waterfall.

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