"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."

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


To have the collywobbles means to suffer from an upset stomach (though the Oxford Dictionary describes it more specifically as pain or looseness in the bowels). It’s a colloquial term and was first recorded in 1841.
I love the word collywobbles.  It’s one I used to hear quite often when I was young but nowadays it isn’t generally considered sophisticated enough.  I hope it doesn’t die out completely.


  1. Nice word for nasty condition... Somehow sounds related to mollycoddle!

    1. Yes, mollycoddle is another lovely sounding word. And again, it is one I haven't heard used ine everyday speech for a while.