Thursday, February 2, 2017

overweening



Not a word we hear all the time, but it's been in the air a bit lately. I know what it means in context, but I find it a bit hard to define. I would say that to be overweening is to be grasping for more than one is entitled to. I also have impressions of overbearing and and kind of leaning over or overshadowing others.

Let's what find out what it really means.

Okay. According to the Free Dictionary, it can mean either to be presumptuously arrogant or overbearing, or to be excessive or immoderate. Sound like anyone you know?



According to the Merriam Webster website, the word only dates back to the 14th century. "Over" we get, but what's the "ween" part about. The Middle English was overwening, the present participle of overwenen. "Ween" is derived from wenen, "to think or believe". There are records from earlier times showing that people sometimes used the word overween, meaning to have too high an opinion of oneself.

The image that I would most obviously post here is one that I think we are all already tired of looking at, but I bet you can figure it out.


(The first two images come from something called AZQuotes.com, but the final one comes from IZQuotes.com. In case you're looking for more.)

 

2 comments:

  1. Overweenies--For some reason an image of golden-haired Gen. Custer popped into my head, but I'm too tired to trace the origin of that association.

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    1. But I'm not too tired to like it. I was trying to think of an appropriate historical figure, rather than just relying on the present.

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