Yuck!

I have seen this word and used this word in the senses near the end of the list and had no idea that it derived from the meanings near the top of the list. Disgusting. I’d have been more careful with it had I known.

addle, n. and a.

A. n.

1. Stinking urine, or other liquid filth; mire.

2. ‘The dry lees of wine.’ In Bailey, vol. II, 1731; whence also in Ash 1775.

B. attrib. and adj.

1. a. In addle egg [addle orig. the n. used attrib. (= med.L. ovum ūrīnæ egg of urine or putrid liquid, a perversion of cl. L. ovum ūrinum, repr. Gr. ****** *** , wind-egg), at length, c1600, treated as adj.] A rotten or putrid egg; one that produces no chicken. Applied usually to a fecundated egg in which through exposure to cold the chick dies during hatching; but also to an egg having no germ, which soon begins to decompose; and apparently sometimes to an egg no longer fit for food because partly hatched. (The idea of abortiveness led to many word-plays on addle and idle.)

b. as simple adj.

2. a. fig. Empty, idle, vain; also (with reference to the decomposed or disorganized condition of an addle egg), muddled, confused, unsound.

b. as simple adj.

3. dialectally. Unsound, crazy.

C. Comb.

1. addle-brain, addle-head, addle-pate; one whose head is addled, a stupid bungler.

2. addle-brained, addle-headed, addle-pated, a.; applied contemptuously to one whose intellect seems muddled.

3. addle-headedness, fatuity.

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