stammer (v.)Related entries & more
Old English stamerian "to stammer," from Proto-Germanic *stamro- (source also of Old Norse stammr "stammering," Old Saxon stamaron, Gothic stamms "stammering," Middle Dutch and Dutch stameren, Old High German stammalon, German stammeln "to stammer," a frequentative verb related to adjective forms such as Old Frisian and German stumm "mute"). Related: Stammered; stammerer; stammering; stammeringly.
shtoom (adj.)Related entries & more
"speechless, silent," from Yiddish, from German stumm "silent, mute" (see stammer (v.)).
hesitancy (n.)Related entries & more
1610s, from Latin haesitantia "action of stammering," from haesitantem (nominative haesitans) "stammering," present participle of haesitare "to stick fast, stammer" (see hesitation).
la-laRelated entries & more
syllables used to make nonsense refrains in songs; compare Old English la, a common exclamation; but la-la is imitative of babbling speech in many languages: Greek lalage "babble, prattle," Sanskrit lalalla as an imitation of stammering, Latin lallare "to sing to sleep, lull," German lallen "to stammer," Lithuanian laluoti "to stammer."
hesitate (v.)Related entries & more
1620s, from Latin haesitatus, past participle of haesitare "to stick fast; to hesitate; to stammer" (see hesitation). Related: Hesitated; hesitating; hesitatingly.
falter (v.)Related entries & more
late 14c., "to stagger, totter," of unknown origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse faltrask "be burdened, hesitate, be troubled"), or else a frequentative of Middle English falden "to fold," influenced by fault (but OED rejects any direct connection to that word). Of the tongue, "to stammer," mid-15c. Related: Faltered; faltering.
bambino (n.)Related entries & more
1761, "image of the Christ child in swaddling clothes," especially as exhibited in Italian churches at Christmastime, from Italian bambino, "baby, little child," a diminutive of bambo "simple" (compare Latin bambalio "dolt," Greek bambainein "to stammer"), of imitative origin. In U.S. baseball lore, a nickname of George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895-1948).
tattle (v.)Related entries & more
late 15c., "to stammer, prattle," in Caxton's translation of "Reynard the Fox," probably from Middle Flemish tatelen "to stutter," parallel to Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, East Frisian tateren "to chatter, babble," possibly of imitative origin. The meaning "tell tales or secrets" is first recorded 1580s. Sense influenced by tittle. Related: Tattled; tattling. As a noun from 1520s. Tattler, the name of the famous periodical by Addison and Steele (1709-1711), means "idle talker, a gossip."
stumble (v.)Related entries & more
c. 1300, "to trip or miss one's footing" (physically or morally), probably from a Scandinavian source (compare dialectal Norwegian stumla, Swedish stambla "to stumble"), probably from a variant of the Proto-Germanic base *stam-, source of Old English stamerian "to stammer," German stumm, Dutch stom "dumb, silent." Possibly influenced in form by stumpen "to stumble," but the -b- may be purely euphonious. Meaning "to come (upon) by chance" is attested from 1550s. Related: Stumbled; stumbling. Stumbling-block first recorded 1526 (Tindale), used in Romans xiv.13, where usually it translates Greek skandalon.