One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[no object]often as adjective puling
Cry querulously or weakly.‘she's no puling infant’
weep, shed tears, sob, wail, be in tears, cry one's eyes out, cry one's heart out, cry as if one's heart would break, bawl, howl, snivel, whimper, whine, squall, mewl, bleatView synonyms
- ‘Don't I know they're a company of crazies, cranks, and puling adolescents of all ages who major in moral minors in order to divert attention from what in their lives they really should feel guilty about?’
- ‘Boys, you're puling nerds from the National Review for Christ sake, you're not longshoremen.’
- ‘Other coverage from puling lefties: Beth, Gianna.’
- ‘Even Emerson, seeming to contradict his remark about ‘querulous’ criticism, agreed that ‘the doctrine of hatred must be preached as the counteraction to the doctrine of love, when that pules and whines.’’
- ‘The wounded creature snarled and sprang away, leaving me to lie and pule in my ruined body.’
Late Middle English (originally referring to a bird's cry): probably imitative; compare with French piauler, in the same sense.
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