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b) to confuse

German translation:

baffle = verwirren, verblüffen


baffle: approximately 2,000,000 hits



Sample text:

Frogs with extra legs or missing legs have been showing up with greater frequency over the past decade, and scientists have been BAFFLED by the cause.

(National Geographic)

Nothing BAFFLES the schemes of evil people so much as the calm composure of great souls.

- Gabriel Riqueti Mirabeau, 18th century French writer and statesman

Did you know?


- to cause someone to be completely unable to understand or explain something

(Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)


1548, "to disgrace," perhaps a Scottish respelling of bauchle "to disgrace publicly" (especially a perjured knight), probably related to Fr. bafouer "to abuse, hoodwink," possibly from baf, a natural sound of disgust, like bah. Meaning "to bewilder, confuse" is from 1649; that of "to defeat someone's efforts" is from 1675.

The noun sense of "shielding device" is first recorded 1881.

The variety of things that baffles science is quite baffling. Here is a brief sample of some of the things that scientists have spent money researching:

- why don’t woodpeckers get headaches?

- why does uncooked spaghetti often break into several pieces when bent?

- what makes the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard so irritating?

- how many pictures must one take of a group of people to be sure no one is blinking?

The above projects received the 2007 IgNobel Prize, which rewards research achievements that "first make people laugh and then make them think." The prizes are organised by the Annals of Improbable Research, a bi-monthly magazine devoted to humour in science.

addle, amaze, astound, befuddle, bewilder, buffalo, confound, confuse, daze, disconcert, dumbfound, elude, embarrass, faze, floor, get, mix up, muddle, mystify, nonplus, perplex, puzzle, rattle, stick, stump, stun, throw

(Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus)

clear up, enlighten, explain

(Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus)

say something like:

"I’m baffled by this proposal from our parts supplier. Let’s call them for an explanation."

Thanks to Elke for suggesting today’s word!

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