Everyday Life


to influence or entice by soft words or flattery

‘Wheedle’ has been a part of the English lexicon since the mid-17th century, though no one is quite sure how the term made its way into English. (It has been suggested that the term may have derived from an Old English word that meant ‘to beg,’ but this is far from certain.)

Once established in the language, however, ‘wheedle’ became a favorite of some of the language’s most illustrious writers. ‘Wheedle’ and related forms appear in the writings of Wordsworth, Dickens, Kipling, Dryden, Swift, Scott, Tennyson, and Pope, among others.

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