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Interesting Words And Expressions – Collywobbles

What does collywobbles mean?

It is a noun and means pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache or “butterflies in the stomach”.

How do you pronounce it?


or [col·ly·wob·bles]

Where does it come from?

Etymologist believe that collywobbles most likely has its origin in cholera morbus, the Latin term for the disease cholera (the symptoms of which include severe gastrointestinal disturbance).

How would cholera morbus have shifted into collywobbles? By folk etymology – a process in which speakers make an unfamiliar term sound more familiar. In this case, the transformation was probably influenced by the words colic and wobble.

How do you use it?

“… unfortunately I awoke this morning with collywobbles and had to take some medicine, the doctor gave me, to settle my stomach.”


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