"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 3 February 2013


Here is another archaic word – a wittol was a man who was aware of and tolerant of his wife’s infidelity; an acquiescent cuckold. Its first known use is in the fifteenth century and it came from the Middle English witen to know and cokewold cuckold.  It was also used to simply mean a witless person – perhaps on the basis that those who ignored their wives’ infidelity were witless.


  1. Was/is there a female version of the word?

  2. I don't know. I haven't come across one. I shall see what I can find.