This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Word To Use Today: welly.

A welly is one of those nice moulded rubber boots. In some parts of the world they're called gumboots. 

Welly is short for Wellington boot.

I've long known they were called after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington,* but could never quite imagine such a smart and imperious man wearing wellies

Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.png
Wellington, by Thomas Lawrence.

Sadly, it turns out that what a soldier calls a wellington boot is a leather boot cut away at the back to make it easier to bend his or her knee.

You may be wondering, if you live in a sunny place, how on earth you are going to use the word welly; but in this case I have the pleasure of introducing to you the delightful British slang term give it some welly.

It means to exert some force, enthusiasm, or commitment. You might give some welly to the accelerator pedal of a car, or to the task of hammering in a nail or whisking an egg white.

If you were digging a trench, you might even be giving it some welly in your wellies.

Anyway, you get the idea. As the Good Book might have said, whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, give it some welly.

Word To Use Today: welly. This word, as I said, comes from the Duke of Wellington. That's the Wellington in Somerset, England, even though Arthur Wellesley was actually Irish.

*Best known for delaying losing the Battle of Waterloo until Blücher turned up.

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