Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Tue Jun 24 09:18:15 UTC 2003

A World Wide Wprds subscriber asks "Is there such a word as
'besmitten'?" As usual, he's really asking something more like "Is
'besmitten' the sort of word I can use and not be laughed at?"

I can find 100+ examples online, my wife remembers her aunt saying it
50 years ago, and I would use it in the sense of "very much in love
(with someone)" with hardly a second thought. It sounds like a German
or Yiddish version of English "smitten" (it may be relevant that my
wife's family is of German extraction).

But I can't find it in any dictionary I have here. Can anybody help
to track down its antecedents, or would anybody like to comment on
its constituency and validity?
Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <TheEditor at>
Web: <>

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