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Sep 21, 2018
This week’s theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week’s words
columbine
raddle
mizzle
rummy
gage

gage
The Lords Appellant throw down their gages/gauntlets in front of Richard II
Illustration: James William Edmund Doyle in A Chronicle of England, BC 55 - AD 1485, Part 1485

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gage

PRONUNCIATION:
(gayj)

MEANING:
noun:1. A pledge: something offered as a guarantee.
 2. Something thrown down as a symbol of a challenge to fight. (See also: gauntlet)
verb tr.:To offer something as a guarantee of good faith.
Origin: From Old French g(u)age (to wage, gage), of Germanic origin. The Germanic w sound became g or gu in some French dialects. That’s the reason we have the doublets such as wage/gage, warranty/guarantee, ward/guard (also reward/regard), warden/guardian, war/guerre, and William/Guillaume. Earliest documented use: 14th century.
 
noun:1. An instrument or criterion for measuring or testing.
 2. The thickness or size of something. For example, diameter of a gun barrel, thickness of sheet metal, distance between the rails of a railroad track.
verb tr.:To measure or estimate.
Origin: From Old French gauge, or unknown origin. Earliest documented use: 1444.
 
noun:Any of the varieties of plum, such as the greengage.
Origin: After William Gage, botanist who brought it to England from France. Earliest documented use: 1718.

USAGE:
“Here is a letter from Queen Hecuba,
A token from her daughter, my fair love,
Both taxing me and gaging me to keep
An oath that I have sworn.”
William Shakespeare; Troilus and Cressida; 1609.

“Edward lost his temper and flung down his gage, demanding that the issue should be tried by combat.”
Georgette Heyer; My Lord John; E.P. Dutton; 1975.

“Data is being collected on the bobcats to gage the population and their roaming territory.”
Steve Scauzillo; Cities, EPA Moving to Curb Use of Rat Poison Linked to Bobcat Deaths; San Gabriel Valley Tribune (West Covina, California); Jul 15, 2013.

See more usage examples of gage in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -Leonard Cohen, musician and writer (21 Sep 1934-2016)

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