Wodge: A Definition
"I don't want a great wodge of prose, but about double what we have at
present." (Ezra Pound, 1913) The word wodge, whose meaning can be surmised
from its heavy, lumpish sound, is not particularly common in American usage. It
is, however, a wonderful word that ought to be given more recognition. It offers
a more vivid description than its synonyms, for example, blob, cluster, or clump.
A highly descriptive word, wodge is developed from a combination of the words
wad and wedge, the sound of which evokes images of weight and
The word wodge has sprung from a combination of two other words, wad
and wedge, but is vastly more entertaining than either. A wedge is generally two
principal faces of hard material meeting at an acute angle to be used for raising,
holding, or splitting an object; or also to squish or cram oneself or another object
into an ill-fitting space in the manner of a wedge. A wad, on the other hand, is a
small lump, mass, ball, roll, or bundle of some matter, usually soft or fibrous, i.e.,
cotton, wool, straw, cloth, paper, or money. Wodge embodies both of these
Resting somewhere between wedge, which has a more mathematical,
precise, and triangular meaning, and wad, which is crumpled, disorderly, and
usually made of paper, wodge seems to be lumpy, unwieldy, awkward and has a
particular sense of untidiness drifting about it. It does most often refer to paper,
as in "You know, your paycheck, the thing with the wodge of money in it that you
get at the end of the week," but can also be more figurative, as in "I've just
gotten back a great wodge of hard disk space!" If the thing one is referring to is
truly a wodge, neither wad nor wedge will suffice to describe it.
Wodge does have a number of synonyms, though none carry...