waffle: (noun) Kind of honeycombed batter cake made in a iron. From Dutch “wafel”=wafer. Related to Old High German “waba”=honeycomb.
waffle: (verb) To talk on and on about trivia. Originally to yelp like a dog (c17th). From sound of a dog barking or yelping – “waff.”
wage: A fixed payment, usually weekly, for work done. Old French “wage” < Latin “wadium” < Old Germanic “*wadjo”=a pledge or promise.
waggon/wagon:Old horse-drawn vehicle used to transport things. Old English “wagn” < Germanic “*wagnoz” = carry.
waive: To refrain from using a right. Middle English “weyven” < Old French “gaiver”=to become an orphan (waif) or to abandon.
waiver: Document allowing a right to be suspended. Anglo-Norman “weyver” < Old French “gaiver”=to become a waif, to abandon.
Walker: An occupation; one who walks on wet wool to process it to be clean and thick. Old English “wealcan”=roll, wander, move around.
wallow: Of animals, to roll about in mud and water to stay cool. Old English “wealwain”=to roll < Old Germanic *”walwojan.”
waltz: Slow dance with a regular pattern of three beats. From Old High German “walzan”=to turn or roll.
wampum: North American slang for money. From Algonquian “wampumpeag” < “wampampiak”=white beads < “wamp”=white + “ampi”=beads.
wan: Looking pale, tired, and/or ill. Old English “wann”=dark or lacking light. Possibly related to “wane” via OE “wana”=to lack, diminish.
wander: To move aimlessly around with no fixed course. From Old English “wandrian”=to roam, ramble, go idly or restlessly about.
wane: To decrease or make smaller. Or to fail. From Old English “wanian”=make or become smaller gradually.
wanweird: Ill-fate; misfortune; a hard lot. Old English “wan”=wrong or negation + “wyrd”=fate or destiny.
war: Fighting between people or nations. From late Old English “werre” < medieval Latin “werra/guerra”=discord or strife.
wary: Given to caution; being careful. Middle English “ware” < Old English “waer” = prudent, alert ?< Latin “vereri”=to fear.
wasp: Small black/yellow flying insect that stings and weaves a paper nest. Old English “waps” ultimately from Indo-European “*webh”=weave.
wasp: Social winged insect that has a narrow waist and a sting. Old English “waps” < Proto-Indo-European “*webh”=weave, like their nests.
wassail: Spiced ale or mulled wine drunk on Christmas Eve; to sing and drink. Old English “wes hal”=salutation meaning “be of good health.”
wastrel: A good-for-nothing, idle, worthless person. C18th=a piece of wasteland < Latin “vastus”=unoccupied, uncultivated.
watchful: Vigilant, observant, on alert. From Old English “waccian”=to stay awake + “ful”=suffix meaning “full of.”
waugh: (pronounced “waf.” Tasteless and insipid; unpleasant of smell. Scottish dialect < Old English “weal”=insipid < ?Old Germanic “walwo.”
wave: Move hand from side to side in the air as a signal. Old English “wafian” < Germanic “*wab”=to wave, undulate.
waver: To exhibit doubt or indecision. Old Norse “vafra”=move unsteadily or flicker < Germanic “*wath”=move to and fro.
wax: (a) Semi-solid substance secreted by bees to make a honeycomb; (b) to increase. From Old English “weaxan”=to grow.
wayfarer: One who travels by foot or on the road. Old English “weg”=move, journey + “faran”=travel + “-er”=suffix indicating a person.
wealthy: Possessing an abundance of a resource. From Middle English “wele”=well-being + “-y”=having the quality of.
weanie: A very young child; a baby. Contraction of Scottish dialect “wee ane” < “wee”=small + “ane”=one.
weave: Form fabric by interlacing threads. Old English “wefan” < Old Germanic “*web” < same root Sanskrit “urnavabhi”=spider (wool-weaver)
web: Sticky lattice of thread spun by spiders or membrane between aquatic birds’ toes. From Old English “webb”=woven fabric.
Wednesday: Day of the week. From Old English “Wodnesdaeg” =”Woden’s Day.” “Woden” < Odin, Norse supreme god.
weep: To shed tears due to extreme emotions. From Old English “wepan”=shed tears, cry.
weevil: Small beetle that feeds on grain, flour, and other stored foods. Old English “wifel”=beetle < Old Germanic “*weviloz”=to move about
weird: strange or extraordinary; also something supernatural. From Old English “wyrd”=fate or destiny.
wemod: Angry or passionate. Old English “weamod” < “wea”=trouble, malice, affliction + “mod”=mood.
whelp: Impertinent child. Old English “hwelp”=the young of a dog.
whey: Liquid left after the solid part has been removed from sour milk. Old English “hwaeg”=whey < ?Old Germanic “*hwago-”
whip: Piece of leather or rope used to hit someone or something. Middle English “wippe” < Low German “wippen”=to leap about quickly.
whiskey: Alcoholic drink from distilled grain. From Gaelic “uisge beatha “=water of life < Old Irish “uisce”=water+”bethu”=life.
whole: All of something; complete; something in its entirety. Old English “hal”=sound, in good shape < Indo-European “*qoilos.”
wicked: Behaving on a way morally wrong; modern slang use meaning “good.” From Old English “wicca”=wizard.
widdershins: Scottish dialect for “against the way” or “counterclockwise.” From Old High German “widar”=against + “sinnen”=to travel.
widdiful: Someone who deserves to be hanged; a rascal. Scottish dialect “widdy”=a rope for hanging < Old English “withig”=willow tree.
wide: Measuring a large distance from one side to another. Old English “wid”=spacious, extensive < Old Germanic *”widaz.”
wig: Artificial hair covering the head, usually to hide baldness. Shortened “periwig” < Middle French “perruque”=natural head of long hair.
wigwam: Domed or pointed tent used by Native Americans. Ojibwa “wigwaum” < Algonquian “wikiwam”=their house.
William: Male name meaning “protector.” Old High German “Willahelm” < “wil”=will or desire + “helm”=helmet or protection.
Williams: Form of “William”=protector of the realm. Anglo-Norman “Williame” < Germanic “Wilhelme” < “wil”=will + “helm”=helmet (protection).
Wilson: Derived from “Son of William” < Old German “Wilhelme” < “wil”=will + “helm”=helmet; protector of the realm.
wimble: A small boring tool; a gimlet. Middle English “wymble” < Old French “guimblet”=a kind of boring tool.
wimp: Weak, cowardly, ineffectual person. Uncertain origin but probably from “whimper”=to whine, cry < onomatopoeia – the sound of sobbing.
win: To be victorious in an endeavor; to succeed over others. From Old English “winnan”=obtain, acquire and “gewinnan”=gain by a struggle.
wince: Draw back, as with fear or pain. Old French “guenchier”=to turn aside.
wind: Natural movement of a planet’s air. Old English “wind” < Germanic “*windaz”=blowing air. Related to Latin “ventus” and Sanskrit “vata”
wind: The natural movement of a planet’s air from regions of high to low pressure. From Old English “wind”=moving air, blowing.
windigo: Cannibalistic giant of Algonquian Indian mythology. Obijwa “wintiko” < ?Proto-Algonquian “*wintekowa”=owl.
wine: Drink made from fermented grapes. From Old English “win,” borrowed from Latin “vinum”=of the vine.
wisdom: The quality of having experience and knowledge. Old English “wisdom”=faculty of good judgement < Indo-European “weid-“=knowledge.
wiseacre: A know-all; person who pretends to have knowledge. Middle Dutch “wijsseggher”=soothsayer< Old High German “wizago”=wizard.
wish: Want something to be true even though it is either impossible or unlikely. From Old English “wyscan”=to hold dear or desire.
wishmay: A valkyrie; one of Odin’s handmaidens. Old Norse “oskmaer” < “osk”=wish, beloved + “maer”=maiden.
witness: Someone who sees a crime or accident. Old English “witnes”=knowledge < “wit”=capacity for thought + “ness”=noun-forming suffix.
wizard: A man with magical powers. Middle English “wysard” < “wys”=wise + “-ard”=noun-forming suffix.
wonderland: A place of marvelous things. From Old English “wunder”=a person, thing, or event that causes astonishment and admiration.
wonga: Brit slang for “money.” British Romani “wongar” < Romani “angar”=coal. Possibly from collecting fallen coal to make money.
worm: Small, thin, spineless and limbless animal that wriggles to move. Old English “wyrm”=dragon, serpent, snake
wraith: A ghost; the spirit of a dead person. Scottish dialect “warth” < Old Norse “vorthr”=a guardian or watcher.
wrath: Vehement or violent anger. Old English “wraththu” < “wrath”=moved to anger < past tense “writhan”=to twist or coil.
wreak: To cause lots of damage. Old English “wrecan”=to force, drive out, avenge < Germanic stem “wrek-“=to urge, drive.
wrench: Long-handled tool used to tighten/loosen bolts (US). Old English “wrencian”=to twist or turn.
wrestling: Sport where to men grapple with each other in a contest. Old English “wraesten”=to turn/twist someone or something.
wretched: Feeling miserable, dejected, degraded. Old English “wrecca”=an exile, hence sad + “-ed”=adjectival suffix meaning “one who is.”
Wright: A craftsman. Old English “wyrhta”=workman, artisan < Old Germanic ?”wurch”=to work.