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5 Comments

  • Wacky, however, is < whack ‘fool’, presumably one who’s been whacked on the head. So the spelling indicates an etymological distinction that doesn’t actually exist. Whelk has a similar story: etymologically it should be welk.

  • Ian: There is now, thanks to you.

    John: It’s pretty wack that whack‘s cartoonish connotations belie its probable origins in physical violence. I didn’t know that about whelk – another interesting case.

  • John, I’m with you! “Wacky” is most likely derived from “whack” – e.g. someone who’s wacky has been whacked too many times in the head. So “wack” is therefore two steps removed from the original “whack” – what’s so wrong about using the (perhaps etymologically more correct/similar to the original word) “whack”?