Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Blunder - You Stupid Flippin' Moron

Blunder, Accident, Warning, Sign


Noun. Late Middle English.
[Apparently from the verb.]

1. obsolete. Confusion; clamour. LME-L18

2. A stupid or careless mistake. E18


Verb. Middle English.
[Probably of Scandinavian origin: compare with Middle Swedish blundra, Norwegian blundre shut the eyes,
frequentative of Old Norse, Swedish, blunda, Old Danish blunde, related to BLIND adjective.]

1. verb intrans. Move blindly; flounder, stumble. ME

2. verb trans. Originally, treat clumsily, damage. Later, mingle; make turbid; mix up (literally and figuratively). archaic & dialectical. ME

3. verb trans. Utter thoughtlessly; blurt out. L15

4. verb intrans. Make a stupid or careless mistake. E18

5. verb trans. Mismanage, make a blunder in. E19

Fail, Car crash, Accident
"So ... I'd better call Dad then."
(photo by Matt Jacoby)
There are many words for a mistake in English. In 'B' alone, Lexicolatry has explored the beautifully cosmopolitan bêtise and bévue, and the dashingly posh bish as words to describe a bit of a boo-boo. These are charming words; classy, refined and urbane. There are times, however, when it's not just a bit of a bish, old chap, and your bévue has been so embarrassing, so cack-handedly oafish, that only a word like blunder will suffice. And that's the beauty of blunder: related to blind and most likely having its origin in the Norwegian blunde meaning "shut the eyes", it evokes the imagery of someone stumbling around blindly, knocking over tables and pulling down curtains, falling from grace and taking everything within arm's-sweep with him. Blunder: it's a mistake of the clumsiest, stupidest and most ridiculous sort. And in this technological age, we can be sure that there is a camera somewhere to preserve the memory.

Have you made any blunders recently?

Are you prone to blunders?

Are you, in fact, a blundering idiot?

Do please leave your most ridiculous comments below.


  1. I haven't blundered since 2009 when I started collecting rare, exotic, flammable gases after my psychiatrist said I really ought to find some sort of hobby to alleviate certain psychosomatic tendencies which.....

    .......sorry, have to go - I've just accidentally napalmed my wife's bonsai.


    1. Ooh! 'Bonsai' ...

      *runs off to the OED with his marker pen*

      Oh ... I hope everything's OK, C. Do keep us notified.

  2. Haha C. Never know what you're going to come out with next!!

    In the video, I noticed how the groom jumped in to save his bride. Not!
    I guess gallantry is dead!

    1. Well, you know the old Chinese proverb: "Wedding vows on a diving board are like ... umm .. well it's just a really bad idea."