Etymology
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botch (v.)

late 14c., bocchen "to repair," later, "repair clumsily, to spoil by unskillful work" (1520s); a word of unknown origin. Middle English Compendium writes that it is probably the same as bocchen "to swell up or fester; to bulge or project" (though this is attested only from early 15c. and OED denies a connection) which is from Old North French boche, Old French boce, a common Romanic word of uncertain origin. Related: Botched; botching.

As a noun, "a bungled or ill-finished part," it is recorded from c. 1600, perhaps from the verb, but compare Middle English bocche "a boil, a pathological swelling, a tumor" (late 14c.), used especially of glandular swellings from the plague, also figuratively "a corrupt person; a rotten condition" (late 14c.), "a hump on a cripple" (early 14c.), which probably also is from Old North French boche, Old French boce.

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ferhoodle (v.)

"to confuse, perplex," by 1956, from Pennsylvania German verhuddle "to confuse, tangle," related to German verhudeln "to bungle, botch." Related: Ferhoodled; ferhoodling.

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flub (v.)

"botch, bungle," 1924, American English, of uncertain origin, perhaps suggested by fluff, flop, etc. Related: Flubbed; flubbing. As a noun, by 1952.

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splotch (n.)

c. 1600, "a broad, ill-defined spot," perhaps a blend of spot, blot, and/or botch. Old English had splott "spot, blot; patch of land." Related: Splotchy; splotchiness.

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louse (v.)

late 14c., "to clear of lice," from louse (n.). Compare delouse. Related: Loused; lousing. To louse up "ruin, botch" first attested 1934, from a literal sense (in reference to bedding), from 1931.

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butcher (v.)

1560s, "kill or slaughter for food or market," from butcher (n.). Figuratively, "bungle, botch, spoil by bad work," 1640s. Related: Butchered; butchering. Re-nouned 1640s as butcherer.

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blotch (n.)

"a spot," especially a large irregular spot, as on the skin, c. 1600, perhaps an extension of blot (n.) by influence of botch or patch. Also from c. 1600 as a verb. Related: Blotched; blotching.

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mull (v.1)

"ponder, turn over in one's mind," 1873, perhaps from a figurative use of mull (v.) "grind to powder" (which survived into 19c. in dialect), from Middle English mullyn, mollen "grind to powder, soften by pulverizing," also "to fondle or pet" (late 14c.), from Old French moillier and directly from Medieval Latin molliare,mulliare, from Latin molere "to grind," from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind."

Of uncertain connection to the mull (v.) defined in Webster's (1879) as "to work steadily without accomplishing much," and the earlier identical word in athletics meaning "to botch, muff" (1862). Related: Mulled; mulling.

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