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#177620 - 06/20/08 10:29 AM Etymology of 'toddler'
gaius novus Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 4
Me: "Do you know where the word 'toddler' comes from?"

Loving girlfriend: "Yeah, it's because the kid toddles around."

Me: "A common misconception. It's because the kid has reached the age to drink beer from a 'tod' - a stein."

Loving (though now dubious) girlfriend: "No, it's not."

Me: "Here, let me prove it."

Me: searches Internet high and low for vindication. Finds none.

So, my question to you, dear readers, is this: whence did this crazy idea pop into my head? I don't think I merely dreamt it. I hope you can help me regain my sanity and unbruise my ego.

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#177633 - 06/20/08 06:20 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: gaius novus]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
AHD says nothing about the etymology of toddler but defines it as "one who toddles". About the etymology of toddle it says merely "Origin unknown". Where you got your whack-a-doodle idea I haven't the foggiest. I don't even know where I get my whack-a-doodle ideas.

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#177635 - 06/20/08 07:22 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
whack-a-doodle ideas

The science fiction writer Harlan Ellison said he most often asked where he gets his ideas. He tells these folks Schenectady.

I note that tod is a (mainly British) weight term: "1. A unit of weight for wool, especially one equivalent to about 28 pounds (12.7 kilograms). 2. A bushy clump, as of ivy." A-H (link). Cockney rhyming slang has tod 'own' from Tod Sloane. (I am unfamiliar with the tod equals stein of beer; what language is that?) English toddy comes from Hindi tāṛī 'juice of the palmyra tree'. The derivation of toddler from toddle is unproblematic. Maybe toddler comes from German Tod because infants are the death of their parents.
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#177638 - 06/20/08 07:56 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: zmjezhd]
Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Apparently we can help with etymology but not with sanity or damaged egos.

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#177641 - 06/20/08 09:10 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: gaius novus]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Here's an hypothesis to follow up. Perhaps it comes from Gk. topos, place, via the verbs topple and tottle. The etymological pedigree would then be:
topple becomes tottle, which gives rise to tottler, which would naturally change in pronunciation over time to toddler. And then the verb toddle comes from the noun toddler, not the other way round? Just an idea.

Totītle (tǒtīt'l) v. i. 1. To walk in a wavering, unsteady manner; to toddle; to topple.
[imp. & p. p. Tottled (tǒt"t'ld); p. pr. & vb. n. Tottling (tǒt"tlĭng).] Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

top·ple \ˈtä-pəl\
Etymology:frequentative of top
Date:1590
intransitive verb: to fall from or as if from being top-heavy
transitive verb1: to cause to topple

In any case, whether the above is possible or not, the OP should remember that the woman is always right (even when she's not!).

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#177653 - 06/21/08 05:12 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: gaius novus]
Bigwig Rabbit Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/22/07
Posts: 33
Loc: California, USA
I say, let's invoke the Etymological Accords of Cornwall and Sandwich (1423), and declare the meaning as Gaius says because it is so much more interesting than just "one who toddles". Thus, henceforth, let it be known far and wide, that the etymology of "toddler" is, "one who drinks from a stein." There. The deed is done.


Edited by Bigwig Rabbit (06/21/08 05:13 PM)
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#177654 - 06/21/08 07:24 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: Bigwig Rabbit]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
 Originally Posted By: Bigwig Rabbit
I say, let's invoke the Etymological Accords of Cornwall and Sandwich (1423), and declare the meaning as Gaius says because it is so much more interesting than just "one who toddles". Thus, henceforth, let it be known far and wide, that the etymology of "toddler" is, "one who drinks from a stein." There. The deed is done.


Since one who drinks enough from a stein will degenerate to toddling, why not?

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#177655 - 06/21/08 08:23 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
stein

Stein's an interesting word. It's from German Steinkrug 'stone(ware) jug'. But the jug part got left off and the stone part got in.
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#177656 - 06/21/08 08:29 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: zmjezhd]
Myridon Offline
addict

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
That's why you can't drink blood from a stein!

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#177658 - 06/21/08 08:46 PM Re: Etymology of 'toddler' [Re: Myridon]
Bigwig Rabbit Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/22/07
Posts: 33
Loc: California, USA
I say we Invoke Article 3b of the Etymological Accord of Concord and Sandwich (1423) that states, "Ye shall not make puns with the etymological meanings of words, nor shall ye tolerate the bards that so doeth. The punishment for such shall beeth, one dunking in the River Rhine and a flogging with the Noodle of Worcestershire."


Edited by Bigwig Rabbit (06/21/08 08:53 PM)
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