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March 7, 2018

Word of the Day: Woolgathering

1 CQ

Word of the Day : March 7, 2018

woolgathering \WOOL-gath-uh-ring\ noun


: indulgence in idle daydreaming

Did You Know?

Woolgathering once literally referred to the act of gathering loose tufts of wool that had gotten caught on bushes and fences as sheep passed by. As you might imagine, woolgathering was not the most profitable of enterprises; its practitioners must have seemed to wander aimlessly, gaining little for their efforts. In the mid-16th century, woolgathering began to appear in figurative phrases such as "my wits went a woolgathering"—in other words, "my mind went wandering aimlessly." From there, it wasn't long before the word woolgathering came to suggest foolish or purposeless mind-wandering.

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Aired March 7, 2018

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