Etymology
Advertisement
maudlin (adj.)

c. 1600, "tearful, weeping" (a sense now obsolete), from Middle English fem. proper name Maudelen (early 14c.), from Magdalene (Old French Madelaine), woman's name, who in the Middle Ages was believed to be identical with the repentant sinner forgiven by Jesus in Luke vii.37 (see Magdalene). Thus in paintings, she often was shown weeping as a sign of repentance. Meaning "characterized by tearful sentimentality, over-emotional" is recorded by 1630s. Also in old slang "tipsy, foolish from drink" (by 1700), from maudlin-drunk (1610s) "in the sentimental and tearful stage of intoxication."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Magdalene 

fem. proper name, from Latin (Maria) Magdalena, "Mary of Magdala," the companion and supporter of Jesus, from Greek Magdalene, literally "woman of Magdala," from Aramaic (Semitic) Maghdela, place on the Sea of Galilee, literally "tower" (compare Hebrew migdal "tower," from gadal "be great or high"). The vernacular form of the name, via French, has come to English as maudlin.

Related entries & more 
mat (adj.)
1640s, "lusterless, dull" (of a color or surface), from French mat "dull, dead surface," from Old French mat "beaten down, withered, afflicted, dejected; dull," which is perhaps from Latin mattus "maudlin with drink," from madere "to be wet or sodden, be drunk," from PIE root *mad- "to be wet, drip" (see mast (n.2)). Or the French word might represent a transferred use from chess of mater "to checkmate, defeat," from Arabic (see mate (v.2)).
Related entries & more 
Platonic (adj.)

1530s, "of or pertaining to Greek philosopher Plato" (429 B.C.E.-c. 347 B.C.E.), from Latin Platonicus, from Greek Platōnikos. The name is Greek Platōn, a nickname in reference to his broad shoulders (from platys "broad;" from PIE root *plat- "to spread"); his original name was Aristocles, son of Ariston. The meaning "free of sensual desire" (1630s, in Platonic love "pure spiritual affection unmixed with sexual desire," translating Latin Amor platonicus) which the word usually carries nowadays, is a Renaissance notion; it is based on Plato's writings in "Symposium" about the kind of interest Socrates took in young men and originally had no reference to women. Related: Platonically.

The bond which unites the human to the divine is Love. And Love is the longing of the Soul for Beauty ; the inextinguishable desire which like feels for like, which the divinity within us feels for the divinity revealed to us in Beauty. This is the celebrated Platonic Love, which, from having originally meant a communion of two souls, and that in a rigidly dialectical sense, has been degraded to the expression of maudlin sentiment between the sexes. Platonic love meant ideal sympathy ; it now means the love of a sentimental young gentleman for a woman he cannot or will not marry. [George Henry Lewes, "The History of Philosophy," 1867]
Related entries & more