Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Whelm originates from Old English and it means to overturn or capsize a hollow vessel (a boat, a heart); to bury by wave, flood, storm, avalanche. The etymology is from the Old English hwelfan, to ‘upheave’. This explains the modern use of “overwhelmed” and “underwhelmed”.

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

No voice divine the storm allay’d,

No light propitious shone;

When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,

We perish’d, each alone:

But I beneath a rougher sea,

And whelm’d in deeper gulfs than he.

4 thoughts on “Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

    1. Yes, it has a lovely sound to it. There is something reminiscent of wind to the word whelm…at least I can hear wind in the word.

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