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  • Paul Anthony Jones


(n.) a drowsy, sleepy, stupid state of mind or body

A lazy, drowsy, muddled-headed frame of mind is a zwodder.

That’s a dialect word from the far southeast corner of England; according to the English Dialect Dictionary, it was particularly associated with the county of Somerset, but there are variations of this word—including swother, swather, swatter and swodder—found all across the Britain.

Where does it come from? It’s a puzzling one, but it’s mirrored in an Anglo-Saxon word, swodrian, meaning ‘to become drowsy’. There’s likely some older Germanic root here too, as there was apparently a Middle Dutch word, swadderen, meaning ‘to stagger with drunkenness.’

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