รดรด

Maudlin Definition

By
Mignon Fogarty,

maudlin definition

Maudlin people are weepy, emotional, foolish, or gushily sentimental. Maudlinness can be someone’s general disposition or can be brought on by alcohol or an emotional situation. 

Maudlin was first used in the early 1500s, and we get it from the biblical character Mary Magdalene. In medieval art, Magdalene was almost always shown weeping, either washing Jesus’ feet with her tears or weeping outside his empty tomb. People of the time referred to anyone who had a similar weepy look or disposition as Magdalene. Over time, the pronunciation became slurred and the spelling changed to maudlin.

A few years ago, I was especially delighted when I saw a news article about the declining number of nuns that quoted a nun using the word maudlin. She said, “We can't be maudlin about [it],” which struck me as an excellent use of the word.

This article is based on an entry in Grammar Girl's book 101 Words to Sound Smart. Buy it now: 

Print: Amazon, Barnes & NoblePowell’s

E-book: Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble NookApple iBook


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.