General Question

occ's avatar

Can you "wreak" anything other than havoc?

Asked by occ (4005 points ) November 8th, 2006
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

maggiesmom1's avatar
Yes, you can wreak vengence
occ's avatar
interesting. you're right. I never thought of that.
occ's avatar
where does the word "wreak" come from and why does it only mean to create bad things?
maggiesmom1's avatar
It's an Old English word and it's original archaic meaning is to take vengeance for; avenge. I don't know why, but that's what it means.
maggiesmom1's avatar
Interestingly, the origin of the word "havoc" is Germanic & means "plundering". So....the two together are pretty devastating.
occ's avatar
but if the past participle is wrought then why do we have wrought iron fences?
maggiesmom1's avatar
The fences are made of iron that was "wrought". The past participle is used to describe what was, in the past, done to the iron to make the fence, it does not describe a present attribute of the fence.
peggylou's avatar
GRAND answers!
bob's avatar
For what it's worth, the past participle of wreak is actually "wreaked." "Wrought" is the (archaic) past participle of work.
StarlessStreets's avatar
You can wreak mischief or disaster, probably also calamity or Armeggedon.
gailcalled's avatar
Remember "What hath God wrought"? How would you read that? What has God formed? Made?
gailcalled's avatar
Designed?
segdeha's avatar

I read that as "What has God let go bad in the fridge."

Rhi's avatar

you can wreak tea apparently

carlosp's avatar

You can also wreak terror, damage or harm. To wreak is pretty much always a bad thing.

Schenectandy's avatar

can you rend something other than asunder?

soundedfury's avatar

You can rend garments.

Schenectandy's avatar

ah ha- nice one.

jballou's avatar

You can also rend in twain (cut something/someone in half)

charybdys's avatar

rend is similar to “violently tear”. Carnivores can rend flesh, as can weapons. Explosions can rend, well anything, and lightning can rend trees.

Ort's avatar

How come there’s such a thing as being vigorous but not vimmous?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

If being disgruntled is bad, then what is being gruntled? Sounds positively ghastly.

Sorceren's avatar

You can also reek havoc, can’t you? Teenage boys in closed cars do this when they take their shoes off and cause a wreck, or a wrack.

JUST KIDDING! Copyeditors see some marvelous variations on this phrase, especially when wreaking legibility on a hunter’s writing.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

You can wreak of an odor. Heh heh…

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@toomuchcoffee911
That positively reeks! LOL

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Heh heh… Right.

noelasun's avatar

wreak chaos. But it’s all so similar, it’s not even worth it.

AshlynM's avatar

You can wreak mayhem and destruction but don’t those basically mean the same as havoc?

Sunny2's avatar

You can rend fat to make solid fat liquid, like pork fat or other meats that are fatty.

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