phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Browse phrases beginning with:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T UV W XYZ Full List

Luke warm

Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 02, 2000

In Reply to: Luke warm posted by Btd on October 02, 2000

: Who's "Luke"? Why not just ie: "warm water"?

"Luke" was a Middle English word, now obsolete, meaning "warm," which was based on "lew," another word for "warm." "Lew," in turn, was derived from the Old English word "hleow," meaning "warm."."Lukewarm" actually amounts to saying "warm-warm," but this sort of redundancy is common when obsolete words are carried over into modern usage.

If we trace "hleow" back a bit further, we find the Latin word "calor," meaning "heat." "Calor" gave us "calorie" (a measure of heat), "cauldron," and, from the derivative word "calere" ("to be hot"), the word "nonchalant," describing someone who stays cool.