What does Whelm mean? #words #whelm #dictionary

Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?
Bianca: I think you can in Europe.

I love this quote from the movie Clueless. But do we actually use the word “Whelm”. In the dictionary it is now counted as archaic, which basically means it has fallen out of use.

The original meaning was to engulf, submerge or bury. e.g. a boat whelmed in the storming sea. So the word has simply been overtaken by the superlative overwhelm. It’s just been whelmed by the word overwhelm!

So we could carry on using it, we just don’t!

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