Is welk a word? It’s an archaic one. But, if you’re after the sea snail, that’s whelk.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash.

💡 Microsoft Word does not recognise ‘welk’ as a typo.

🔎 But I spotted it.

🐌 The author meant ‘whelk’ as in the seafood, sea snail thing.

❌ “Tall ships rocked on their moorings as a woman selling cockles and welks wended between sailors.”

✅ “Tall ships rocked on their moorings as a woman selling cockles and whelks wended between sailors.”

📑 During a break, over a cup of coffee, I was curious about this typo and my research led me to another kind of welk – yes, I went down a rabbit hole.

🍂 Apparently, it’s an archaic verb meaning to whither or dry up.

🍁 That’s a seasonally appropriate new bit of vocab to learn!

💡 Who knew?

But, it’s not just used to refer to leaves, as we can see in the passage below:

👑 “Ah, that summons! at which majesty welks and shrivels, the king and soldier starts and cowers, and, armour and all, withers from the air!” George Macdonald, ‘The Elder Hamlet’ from ‘A Dish of Orts’ (1875)

There is also quite an impassioned discussion online that Words with Friends and Scrabble don’t accept it as a word!

But, weirdly, Microsoft Word does.

😆 Is Word basing its dictionary on 18th and 19th century usage?!

References: Collins Dictionary. Merriam-Webster George Macdonald

Published by clairecherryedits Indie Fiction Specialist. Line Editing. Copy Editing. Proofreading.

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