Etymology
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welter (n.)

1590s, "confusion," from welter (v.). The meaning "confused mass" is attested by 1851.

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welter (v.)
"to roll or twist," early 14c., from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German welteren "to roll," from Proto-Germanic *waltijan (source also of Old English wieltan, Old Norse velta, Old High German walzan "to turn, revolve," German wälzen "to roll," Gothic waltjan "to roll"), from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." Related: Weltered; weltering.
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welt (n.)
early 15c., a shoemaker's term, perhaps related to Middle English welten "to overturn, roll over" (c. 1300), from Old Norse velta "to roll" (related to welter (v.)). Meaning "ridge on the skin from a wound" is first recorded 1800.
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*wel- (3)
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to turn, revolve," with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects.

It forms all or part of: archivolt; circumvolve; convoluted; convolution; devolve; elytra; evolution; evolve; Helicon; helicopter; helix; helminth; lorimer; ileus; involve; revolt; revolution; revolve; valve; vault (v.1) "jump or leap over;" vault (n.1) "arched roof or ceiling;" volte-face; voluble; volume; voluminous; volute; volvox; volvulus; vulva; wale; walk; wallet; wallow; waltz; well (v.) "to spring, rise, gush;" welter; whelk; willow.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit valate "turns round," ulvam "womb, vulva;" Lithuanian valtis "twine, net," vilnis "wave," apvalus "round;" Old Church Slavonic valiti "roll, welter," vlŭna "wave;" Greek eluein "to roll round, wind, enwrap," eilein "twist, turn, squeeze; revolve, rotate," helix "spiral object;" Latin volvere "to turn, twist;" Gothic walwjan "to roll;" Old English wealwian "roll," weoloc "whelk, spiral-shelled mollusk;" Old High German walzan "to roll, waltz;" Old Irish fulumain "rolling;" Welsh olwyn "wheel."
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welterweight (n.)

1831, "heavyweight horseman," later "boxer or wrestler of a certain weight" (1896), from earlier welter "heavyweight horseman or boxer" (1804), possibly from welt (v.) "beat severely" (c. 1400).

... but at the end of the first German mile, Nature gave way, and this excellent mare was obliged to "knock under" to the extraordinary exertions she had made, and to the welter weight she carried, upwards of 13 stone. [The Sporting Magazine, September 1831]
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