Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To wave; fluctuate.
  • noun A particular kind of batter cake baked in waffle-irons and served hot.
  • To bark incessantly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A thin cake baked and then rolled; a wafer.
  • noun A soft indented cake cooked in a waffle iron.
  • noun an iron utensil or mold made in two parts shutting together, -- used for cooking waffles over a fire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable A flat pastry pressed with a grid pattern.
  • noun countable, UK A potato waffle, a savoury flat potato cake with the same kind of grid pattern.
  • verb To smash.
  • noun uncountable Speech or writing that is vague, pretentious or evasive.
  • verb of birds To move in a side-to-side motion and descend (lose altitude) before landing. Cf wiffle, whiffle.
  • verb To speak or write vaguely and evasively.
  • verb To speak or write at length without any clear point or aim.
  • verb To vacillate.
  • verb transitive To rotate (one's hand) back and forth in a gesture of vacillation or ambivalence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun pancake batter baked in a waffle iron
  • verb pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The Dutch word wafel was adopted into English in the 1700s. The Dutch word, in turn, derives from the Middle Low German wāfel (modern German Waffel), which was borrowed into Middle English around 1377 as wafer, and which is also the source of the French gaufre. Wāfel, in turn, derives from the Old High German waba, wabo (modern German Wabe), meaning honeycomb and ultimately related to the word weave. The verb sense "to smash" derives from the manner in which waffle-batter is smashed into its shape between the two halves of a waffle iron, and the sense "to press a waffle pattern into" derives from the pattern the waffle-iron-halves impart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Scots waffle, "to waver, to flutter", a variation of the Scots waff ("to flutter, to wave", related to wave), with the suffix -le added. Alternatively, perhaps derived from waff, an imitation of a dog's (unintelligible and thus meaningless) yelp (cf woof). Also note Old English wæflian ("to talk foolishly").

Examples

Comments

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  • In a world without W...

    "A fine word like 'waffle'

    Would turn out just 'affle.'

    Oh, double-u's grand as can beeeee..."

    --Bert (of Sesame Street)

    Every time I see this word, I want to eat a waffle.

    October 28, 2007

  • "Where's my waffles?!" - Cotton Hill from the animated series, King Of The Hill

    December 1, 2007

  • "I like a waffle because a waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap. A waffle says to the syrup, 'Hold on now. You ain't goin' anywhere. Don't even think about tryin' to creep down the sides. Just rest in these squares! When one square is full, move onto the next one. When you hit the butter, split up!!'"

    --Mitch Hedberg

    April 6, 2008

  • Penny Arcade (03/28/08):

    "Can't you hear them? Can't you hear the waffles?"

    May 14, 2008

  • This is my 2000th word on Wordie.

    October 11, 2008

  • Wow! That's about 500 more than there are Waffle Houses. Good show!!

    October 19, 2008

  • In four years of marriage

    we never made a waffle

    and now we're fighting about the waffle iron.

    - Barrett Warner, The Waffle Iron.

    January 27, 2009

  • That poem makes me sad, and at the same time I want to crack their heads together and tell them to make up.

    January 27, 2009

  • It's sad :-(

    I'm not familiar with the verbal definition given by WeirdNet. It also doesn't list the verbal use I hear quite commonly, ie. to waffle on - to be verbose, to palaver.

    January 27, 2009

  • The meaning of waffle as a verb that I am most familiar with is "to waver, keep changing one's mind," which sort of fits Weirdnet's definition. The verb waffle has become part of the US political jargon; candidates are fond of accusing their opponents of "waffling" on certain issues – which often refers to their opponent taking a more nuanced position on a complex and controversial subject rather than simply making an absolute ideological pronouncement. Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign was regularly accused of waffling on the issues, which led to Gary Trudeau using a floating, wobbly waffle (with various amounts of butter on it) as his cartoon icon for Bill Clinton in the Doonesbury comic strip.

    Bilby, I'm not familiar with the phrase "to waffle on" in the sense of "to be verbose". Is this the same as saying "to ramble on" – to talk on and on without making a lot of sense?

    January 27, 2009