Tell me please, what does it mean "long windy sentences, and cutting the waffle"?

A full piece of text: "People on the web tend to want information quickly, so it is important to communicate clearly, and make your information easy to read and digest. Some effective tactics to include in your web design include: organising information using headlines and sub headlines, using bullet points instead of long windy sentences, and cutting the waffle."


2 Answers 2


Waffle is an idiom heard in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand — but not in the US or Canada — meaning ‘excess verbiage’. Cutting the waffle, then, means editing a text to make it more concise — advice the writer of your sentence apparently failed to follow.

I am sorry if you were expecting a discussion about a favourite foodstuff. I am going to talk about another kind of waffle – writing in a lengthy, vague, or trivial way.

When you edit your writing, read it aloud, either to yourself or to an interested friend, and be ruthless about cutting waffle — those parts that use lots of words but do not say anything important or interesting.

Wordy ministers were ordered by Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, to cut the waffle yesterday because parliamentary debates had become "disappointingly slow".

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been told to “cut the waffle” and sort out the mess on the London Underground after commuters faced another difficult rush hour commute.

“From the Profession: Lawyers Ordered to Cut the Waffle” BalJlNTLawSoc 89 (1997), 4. Balance: Journal of the Law Society Northern Territory

If you search for American uses of the term, you get something like this:

enter image description here Source

The photograph does, however, suggest the origin of the metaphor. For its size, a waffle has a large surface area with lots of ups and downs, ins and outs, like the coast of Norway. That’s what makes it tasty, but when applied to language, the surface is excessive compared to the measure of meaning conveyed. In this sense, concise prose should be more like a pancake: round with no unnecessary corners or nooks and crannies to get trapped in.


Waffle would seem to mean pointless talk.

"Cutting the waffle" would mean excluding useless verbiage.

The origin in the internet sense is probably from waffle, meaning to

oscillate between opinions.

and so creating a lot of words that come to no point.

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