Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 17, 2019 is:
maunder • MAWN-der • verb
1 : chiefly British : grumble
2 : to wander slowly and idly
3 : to speak indistinctly or disconnectedly
The bed-and-breakfast was delightful but we felt a bit captive in the morning as our host maundered on while we hovered at the door, hoping to escape before the morning had passed.
“Listening to [Kenneth Branagh playing Hercule Poirot] feels like chatting with your neighbor over the garden hedge, and it’s all too easy to be distracted by the foliage, I’m afraid, as he maunders on about knife wounds and sleeping potions and missing kimonos.” — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2017
Did you know?
Maunder looks a lot like meander, and that’s not all the two words have in common—both mean “to wander aimlessly,” either physically or in speech. Some critics have suggested that while meander can describe a person’s verbal and physical rambling, in addition to the wanderings of things like paths and streams, maunder should be limited to wandering words. The problem with that reasoning is that maunder has been used of the physical movements of people since the 18th century, whereas meander didn’t acquire that use until the 19th. These days, meander tends to be the more common choice, although maunder does continue to turn up in both applications.