Holus-Bolus

My husband has the Merriam-Webster word of the day sent to his email. On September 1st, the word was: holus-bolus.

The definition:
Did you know?
The story of “holus-bolus” is not a hard one to swallow. “Holus-bolus” originated in English dialect in the mid-19th century and is believed to be a waggish reduplication of the word “bolus.” “Bolus” is from the Greek word “bōlos,” meaning “lump,” and has retained that Greek meaning. In English, “bolus” has additionally come to mean “a large pill,” “a mass of chewed food,” or “a dose of a drug given intravenously.” Considering this “lumpish” history, it’s not hard to see how “holus-bolus,” a word meaning “all at once” or “all in a lump,” came about.


Diabetes has expanded our vocabulary in ways that I never expected. When I started reading d-blogs, I had NO idea what a basal was, what a bolus was and/or what an I:C ratio was – and a whole lot more. I’ve since learned…

1 thought on “Holus-Bolus

  1. I like. Thanks for sharing that. I feel smarter and a bit more informed.

    I shall use holus-bolus when the opportunity arises, or it just makes no sense whatsoever to use it. 😉

Comments are closed.