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boring, ordinary


humdrum = langweilig, alltäglich --- GOOGLE INDEX humdrum: approximately 5,500,000 Google hits



Perhaps most important for criminals, HUMDRUM crime is safer. ... For some intellectual-property theft, such as ripping off DVDs, criminals might face ten years in prison, ... six months is more likely for crimes involving food.

The Economist

Use your imagination, and you'll see that even the most narrow, HUMDRUM lives are infinite in scope if you examine them with enough care.

- British novelist and poet Mark Haddon

Did you


- having no excitement, interest or new and different events; ordinary

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

In Frank L Baum's fantasy tale Ozma of Oz, young Dorothy Gale from Kansas is separated from her family during a high-seas storm and is thrown overboard with Billina, a yellow hen. They end up in the Land of Oz where they experience many wonderful things. But Dorothy wants to go back to Kansas.

Billina, who finds Oz a lot more exciting, says: "The bugs and ants that I find here are the finest flavored in the world and there are plenty of them. So here I shall end my days; and I must say, Dorothy, my dear, that you are very foolish to go back into that stupid, humdrum world again."

Dorothy only wants to have her old daily life back. It may be a humdrum existence in the eyes of the yellow hen, but for Dorothy - and many of us - humdrum is a good thing because it means security and comfort. At the end of the day, humdrum is in the eye (or beak) of the beholder...

Etymology: Humdrum is a so-called reduplication, which is a word formed by combining a reduplicated element that usually rhymes with the first one (hum + drum). How this word came to be associated with the boring and mundane is unclear, but likely derives from the sense of hum as in a continuous low droning sound like that of the speech sound.


boring, dull, everyday, monotonous, mundane, routine, vanilla, white-bread

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"Company meetings often consist of lots of humdrum presentations."

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