Wednesday Words & Phrases: Baffled

Image result for baffled gif
David Tennant (As The Doctor) is baffled by your illogic


We use baffle today to mean “confuse or disorient”.

The shocking event baffled the crowd.

The term has its roots in a number of languages but they all pretty much mean the same thing, “mockery”. Appearing first in the 16th Century it described the public humiliation of a disgraced knight whose punishment usually was to be hung upside down from a tree and left for the peasants to treat poorly. (I expect that would mean things like throwing rotten vegetables and fruit or just making fun of.) When the knight had enough he would be let down from the tree and as you may imagine having been hung upside down for a time was dizzy and discombobulated causing him to stumble and fall. By the 17th century, the term baffle came to be used much as we do today.

I think that should be a scene the re-enact at the Ren Faire. Whose with me?