And now where'er he goes
Among the Galilean mountains
Or more unwelcome ways,
He's followed by two faithful fountains;
Two walking baths;
Two weeping motions;
Portable and compendious oceans.
   The English poet Richard Crashaw (1613-1649) wrote this curious poem about Jesus and Magdalene. Mary Magdalen is often portrayed by classical painters with eyes swollen and red from weeping. In an early French form her name was spelled Madelaine; in English it was Magdalene. Gradually the name was corrupted to Maudlin, which has come to stand for stupidly sentimental. To be unguardedly drunk is to be maudlin drunk, characteristic of one who goes on a crying jag after overimbibing. Any tearfully or weakly emotional person is maudlin, whether drunk or a teetotaler. The word is applied to those who shed tears over little or nothing. The British pronunciation of Magdalene is "maudlin," and the spelling followed the sound. Cambridge University has an institution named Magdalene College. Oxford University has its Magdalen College. But whether or not the final "e" is used, the names are pronounced the same—"Maudlin."

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Maudlin — Maud lin, a. [From Maudlin, a contr. of Magdalen, OE. Maudeleyne, who is drawn by painters with eyes swelled and red with weeping.] 1. Tearful; easily moved to tears; exciting to tears; excessively sentimental; weak and silly. Maudlin eyes.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Maudlin — may refer to Excessively sentimental Maudlin, Cornwall Maudlin, Dorset Maudlin, West Sussex Magdalene College, Cambridge Magdalen College, Oxford This disambiguation page lists articles associat …   Wikipedia

  • maudlin — [môd′lin] adj. [after Maudlin, Magdalene < ME Maudeleyne < OFr Madeleine: Magdalene was often represented with eyes red from weeping] 1. foolishly and tearfully or weakly sentimental 2. tearfully sentimental from too much liquor …   English World dictionary

  • Maudlin — Maud lin, Maudeline Maude line, n. (Bot.) An aromatic composite herb, the costmary; also, the South European {Achillea Ageratum}, a kind of yarrow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • maudlin — index demonstrative (expressive of emotion) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • maudlin — (adj.) c.1600, tearful, from Middle English fem. proper name Maudelen (early 14c.), from Magdalene (O.Fr. Madelaine), woman s name, originally surname of Mary the repentant sinner forgiven by Jesus in Luke vii:37 (see MAGDALENE (Cf. Magdalene)).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • maudlin — mawkish, *sentimental, romantic, soppy, mushy, slushy Analogous words: confused, muddled, fuddled, addled, befuddled (see CONFUSE): embarrassed, rattled, fazed, discomfited, disconcerted (see EMBARRASS) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • maudlin — [adj] teary, overemotional bathetic, befuddled, confused, cornball*, drippy*, gushing, insipid, lachrymose, mawkish, mushy*, romantic, schmaltzy*, sentimental, slush*, soap*, soapy*, soppy*, syrupy*, tearful, tearjerking*, weak, weepy; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • maudlin — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ self pityingly or tearfully sentimental. ORIGIN from the name of Mary Magdalen in the Bible, typically depicted weeping …   English terms dictionary

  • maudlin — [[t]mɔ͟ːdlɪn[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe someone as maudlin, you mean that they are being sad and sentimental in a foolish way, perhaps because of drinking alcohol. Jimmy turned maudlin after three drinks. ...maudlin self pity. 2) ADJ… …   English dictionary

  • maudlin — maud|lin [ˈmo:dlın US ˈmo: ] adj [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Maudlin Mary Magdalen (14 16 centuries), from Old French Madeleine, from Latin Magdalena; because she was shown in pictures as crying] 1.) talking or behaving in a sad, silly, and… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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