Where does the word “Humdrum” come from and What does Humdrum mean?

Hum, yes, because that which is humdrum has the monotony of the humming of a bee or other insect.

But drum, well, did this added syllable, back in the sixteenth century, also convey the monotone of a drumbeat?

It is doubtful, though such could have been the case.

But it is more likely that drum was added merely because it rhymed with hum and just happened to be a word itself.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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