One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verbIrish English, English Regional, Midlands, Manx English, Northern
1with object To confuse, perplex, bewilder; to exhaust, overcome, stupefy; (occasionally) to pester. Chiefly refl. or in pass.
2no object To be delirious, to babble; to wander about aimlessly, ramble.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Abraham Fraunce (?1559–?1593), poet and lawyer. Origin uncertain; perhaps from Irish modartha dark, murky, morose (Early Irish modarda sullen, sad), of uncertain origin.
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