puning, puining, pewning? [puling -- Forum Mod.]

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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puning, puining, pewning? [puling -- Forum Mod.]

Post by trolley » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:49 pm

I thought of this word the other day. I was something that my father used to say. Clearly, it meant complaining or crying and usually was paired with whinging. "They're always whinging and pewning about something" It seemed to be interchangeable with "pissing and moaning". I can't seem to find anything even close. It is possible that it was navy slang. Anyone have any ideas?
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Re: Puning, puining, pewning?

Post by Phil White » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:39 pm

Whining and mewling?
Whining and puking?
Wining and dining?
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: Puning, puining, pewning?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:42 pm

I've encountered "mewling and puking" in Shakespeare's play, As you like it (Act 2, Scene 7):
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
By itself that doesn't take us much further, but in the context of your question I think it's worth mentioning the verb pule, which means 'to cry feebly or softly'. Could your dad have been saying "whing(e)ing and puling"?
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Re: Puning, puining, pewning?

Post by trolley » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:17 pm

That's very possible, Erik. If he wasn't saying puling, I think he probably should have been. It seems to fit too well to be merely coincidence. Thanks.
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Re: puning, puining, pewning? [puling -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:06 am

aaa
John, This is just further confirmation that Erik hit the mark.

WHINGE intransitive verb (chiefly British) [12th century]: To complain or protest, especially in an annoying or persistent manner; to whine; especially to complain peevishly. <Quit whinging and get on with the job.> <People were whinging about the lack of service.> [Middle English whingen, from Old English hwinsian; akin to Old High German winsōn to moan]

PULE intransitive verb [1534]: To cry in a thin or weak voice, as a child; to cry in a querulous tone; to whine, complain, whimper. <A distressed baby puling in its crib.> [Perhaps from French piauler, of imitative origin.]

(Oxford English Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam-Webster Online)
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I also noted that the first comment posted under pule in Merriam-Webster Online, which was from a woman in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan (Wales), said the following:
<2013 “‘Whinge and pule’ is a fairly common phrase in my family, I had to look up the spelling though as I've never written it before.”—Merriam-Webster.com, 22 January>
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Ken – April 27, 2014 (who knew neither whinge nor pule from a hole in the wall)
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Re: puning, puining, pewning? [puling -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:57 am

Penarth is a little more than a hop step and a jump from where I live, indeed I live in the historical county of Glamorgan, and I can safely say that I have never heard the word. Indeed I have only read it in this thread.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: puning, puining, pewning? [puling -- Forum Mod.]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:17 pm

I suspect the Penarth woman that Ken quoted was of English descent. This seems to me to be the most probable explanation for her family's obsession with whingeing -- a type of behaviour that no respectable Welshman is inherently incapable of. ;-)
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End of topic.
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