April 7, 2017 · By Vocab Girl Leave Comment
: disgusting or distasteful by reason of excess; also : excessively sweet or sentimental.
The roots of this word aren’t sweet or excessive, but rather tough as nails. This is why our language is so fascinating and so inexplicable. Cloying comes from the verb cloy, which now means “to supply or indulge to excess,” but previously it meant “to clog,” and before that “to prick a horse with a nail in shoeing.” Cloy came from Middle English and Anglo-French encloer and Latin clavus, meaning “nail.”
I have come across this word on past tests…cloying sounds like annoying. When someone is over the top it can get on your nerves. When PDAs are too strong…or people are just too nice. Sugar is sweet, but there is definitely a thing as too much of a good thing. It could send you into diabetic shock. When searching around me for something to photograph, I decided on this roll of Smarties. They are pretty much pure sugar. The name can also be cloying. No one likes it when you put your intelligence or superiority in their face. So today’s word to the wise: don’t go to extremes, or you might prick a horse’s foot and that would be annoying!