[Sca-cooks] Mollycoddle was OOP: What are they teaching are kids?

Gretchen Beck grm at andrew.cmu.edu
Thu Jan 7 14:39:47 PST 2010

--On Thursday, January 07, 2010 5:03 PM -0500 "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus
Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:

> On Jan 7, 2010, at 4:31 PM, Johnna Holloway wrote:
>> You rang?
>> Checked OED-
>> For the noun mollycoddle it all leads in a number of ways:
> As the OED all too often tends to do, this all makes perfect sense, and
> yet leaves me feeling only about 98% convinced by the logic. I can't find
> a flaw in it, but still wonder if some 18th-century English cook, who had
> been exposed to some French techniques and terms, had in among his or her
> utensils for cooking eggs, a mollet coddler for the purpose of cooking
> mollet coddled eggs.

I think the problem is that we haven't dug far enough for an independent
origin of the word "mol".

Under Moll (adj), the OED has :

[< Anglo-Norman and Middle French mol soft (c1150 in Old French; French
mou, mol, (feminine) molle) and their etymon classical Latin mollis soft,
(of weather) mild (see MELT v.1).
  For French and Latin parallels to B moll (see sense A. 2) see BEMOL n.;
with sense A. 2 compare also German moll (16th cent.; now in sense 'minor'
in music). With use as noun compare classical Latin mollis an effeminate
man, post-classical Latin mollia (neuter plural) soft parts of the body
(c400), uses as noun of mollis, adjective.] 

So, mollycoddle could very well come from mollet coddled eggs, or it could
come from an old independent origin for "mollet" -- soft, feminine. (a 1663
French/Italian dictionary gives this: Mollement, mollemente. Item,

toodles, margaret

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