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    gallop (v.) — garbled (adj.)

    gallop (v.)

    "move or run by leaps," early 15c., from Old French galoper "to gallop" (12c.), central Old French form of Old North French waloper, probably from Frankish *wala hlaupan "to run well" (see wallop). Related: Galloped; galloping. Though the French word is Germanic, Dutch galopperen, German galoppiren, Swedish galoppera are from French.ETD gallop (v.).2

    Gallo-Roman (adj.)

    "belonging to Gaul when it was part of the Roman Empire," from combining form of Gaul + Roman. In reference to a language, and as a noun, the language spoken in France from the end of the fifth century C.E. to the middle of the ninth, a form of Vulgar Latin with local modifications and additions from Gaulish that then, in the region around Paris, developed into what linguists call Old French.ETD Gallo-Roman (adj.).2

    gallows (n.)

    c. 1300, plural of Middle English galwe "gallows" (mid-13c.), from Old Norse galgi "gallows," or from Old English galga (Mercian), gealga (West Saxon) "gallows;" all from Proto-Germanic *galgon "pole" (source also of Old Frisian galga, Old Saxon galgo, Middle High German galge "gallows, cross," German Galgen "gallows," Gothic galga "cross"), from PIE *ghalgh- "branch, rod" (source also of Lithuanian žalga "pole, perch," Armenian dzalk "pole").ETD gallows (n.).2

    In Old English, also used of the cross of the crucifixion. Plural because made of two poles. Gallows-tree is Old English galg-treow. Gallows humor (1876) translates German Galgenhumor.ETD gallows (n.).3


    singular of gallows.ETD gallow.2


    district in southwestern Scotland (Medieval Latin Gallovidia), equivalent to Welsh Gallwyddel, Irish Gallgaidhil, literally "foreign Gaels," containing the Gal- element also common in Irish place-names (Irish Gaelic gall) and meaning there "a stranger, a foreigner," especially an Englishman. Related: Gallovidian, which is from the Latin form of the name. The adjective Galwegian is on analogy of Norwegian.ETD Galloway.2

    gallstone (n.)

    1758, from gall (n.1) + stone (n.).ETD gallstone (n.).2

    Gallup poll

    1940, from George H. Gallup (1901-1984), U.S. journalist and statistician, who in 1935 set up the American Institute of Public Opinion.ETD Gallup poll.2

    galoot (n.)

    1812, nautical, "raw recruit, green hand," apparently originally a sailor's contemptuous word for soldiers or marines, of unknown origin. "Dictionary of American Slang" proposes galut, Sierra Leone creole form of Spanish galeoto "galley slave." In general (non-nautical) use by 1866, "awkward or boorish man," but often a term of humorous contempt.ETD galoot (n.).2

    galore (adv.)

    1670s, from Irish go leór, and equivalent Scottish Gaelic gu leóir "sufficiently, enough," from Old Irish roar "enough," from Proto-Celtic *ro-wero- "sufficiency." The particle go/gu usually means "to," but it also is affixed to adjectives to form adverbs, as here. Often used in English with the force of a predicate adjective.ETD galore (adv.).2

    galoshes (n.)

    mid-14c. (surname Galocher is attested from c. 1300), "kind of footwear consisting of a wooden sole fastened onto the foot with leather thongs," perhaps from Old French galoche "overshoe, galosh" (singular), 13c., from Late Latin gallicula, diminutive of gallica (solea) "a Gallic (sandal)" [Klein]. Alternative etymology [Barnhart, Hatz.-Darm.] is from Vulgar Latin *galopia, from Greek kalopodion, diminutive of kalopous "shoemaker's last," from kalon "wood" (properly "firewood") + pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). "The name seems to have been variously applied" [OED]. Modern meaning "rubber covering of a boot or shoe" is from 1853.ETD galoshes (n.).2

    galosh (n.)

    see galoshes.ETD galosh (n.).2

    galumph (v.)

    "to prance about in a self-satisfied manner," 1871, coined by Lewis Carroll in "Jabberwocky," apparently by blending gallop and triumph. "The sense in current use may vary according to different notions of what the sound expresses" [OED]. Related: Galumphing.ETD galumph (v.).2

    galvanize (v.)

    1801, "stimulate by galvanic electricity," from French galvaniser, from galvanisme (see galvanism). Figurative sense of "excite, stimulate (as if by electricity)" first recorded 1853 (galvanic was in figurative use in 1807). Meaning "to coat with metal by means of galvanic electricity" (especially to plate iron with tin, but now typically to plate it with zinc) is from 1839.ETD galvanize (v.).2

    Related: Galvanized; galvanizing.ETD galvanize (v.).3

    galvanism (n.)

    "electricity produced by chemical action," 1797, from French galvanisme or Italian galvanismo, from Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), professor of anatomy at Bologna, who discovered it c. 1792 while running currents through the legs of dead frogs.ETD galvanism (n.).2

    galvanized (adj.)

    1820, "subject to galvanism," past-participle adjective from galvanize. As "coated with a metal by galvanism" from 1839, originally in galvanized iron.ETD galvanized (adj.).2

    galvanic (adj.)

    1797; see galvanism + -ic. Perhaps from or based on French galvanique. Related: Galvanical.ETD galvanic (adj.).2

    galvanization (n.)

    1798, formed as a noun of state to go with the vocabulary of galvanism; perhaps immediately from French galvanisation (1797 in the "Annales de chimie et de physique").ETD galvanization (n.).2

    galvanise (v.)

    chiefly British English spelling of galvanize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Galvanised; galvanising.ETD galvanise (v.).2

    galvanometer (n.)

    instrument for detecting and measuring electric current, 1801, from galvano-, used as a combining form of galvanism + -meter. Related: Galvanometric. Galvanoscope "instrument for detecting and determining the direction of electric current" is from 1832.ETD galvanometer (n.).2

    gam (n.)

    "a leg," 1781, see gams. Called "cant" in the oldest citation.ETD gam (n.).2

    gams (n.)

    "legs," 1781, low slang, probably the same word as gamb "leg of an animal on a coat of arms" (1727) and ultimately from Middle English gamb "leg," which is from French (see gammon). Now, in American English slang, especially with reference to well-formed legs of pretty women, but this was not the original sense.ETD gams (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Greek Gamaliel, from Hebrew Gamli'el, literally "reward of God."ETD Gamaliel.2


    West African nation, named for the river through it, which was so called by 14c. Portuguese explorers, said to be a corruption of a native name, Ba-Dimma, meaning "the river." Related: Gambian.ETD Gambia.2

    gambit (n.)

    "chess opening in which a pawn or piece is risked for advantage later," 1650s, gambett, from Italian gambetto, literally "a tripping up" (as a trick in wrestling), from gamba "leg," from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg" (see gambol (n.)).ETD gambit (n.).2

    Applied to chess openings in Spanish in 1561 by Ruy Lopez, who traced it to the Italian word, but the form in Spanish generally was gambito, which led to French gambit, which has influenced the English spelling of the word. The broader sense of "opening move meant to gain advantage" in English is recorded from 1855.ETD gambit (n.).3

    gamble (n.)

    "risky venture," 1823, from gamble (v.). As "an act of gambling" by 1879.ETD gamble (n.).2

    gambling (n.)

    1784, "habitual indulgence in gambling," verbal noun from gamble (v.). Gambling-house attested by 1794.ETD gambling (n.).2

    gamble (v.)

    "risk something of value on a game of chance," 1726 (implied in gambling), from a dialectal survival of Middle English gammlen, variant of gamenen "to play, jest, be merry," from Old English gamenian "to play, joke, pun," from gamen (see game (n.)), with form as in fumble, etc. Or possibly gamble is from a derivative of gamel "to play games" (1590s), itself likely a frequentative from game. Originally regarded as a slang word. The unetymological -b- may be from confusion with unrelated gambol (v.). Transitive meaning "to squander in gambling" is from 1808. Related: Gambled; gambling.ETD gamble (v.).2

    gambler (n.)

    1738, agent noun from gamble (v.).ETD gambler (n.).2

    gamboge (n.)

    type of gum-resin from Southeast Asia, used in Europe as a yellow dye and as a purgative in medicine, 1630, in widely varying spellings, from Modern Latin cambogium, ultimately from the source of the place name Cambodia.ETD gamboge (n.).2

    gambol (n.)

    "frolic, merrymaking," 1590s, earlier gambolde "a skipping, a leap or spring" (1510s), from French gambade (15c.), from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg," from Greek kampē "a bending;" see jamb. The form was altered perhaps by confusion with the formerly common ending -aud, -ald (as in ribald).ETD gambol (n.).2

    gambol (v.)

    "skip about in sport," 1580s; earlier gambade (c. 1500), from French gambader, from gambade (see gambol (n.)). Compare Middle English gambon "a ham" (see gammon); English dialectal gammerel "small of the leg;" gamble "a leg." Related: Gamboled; gamboling; gambolling.ETD gambol (v.).2

    gambrel (n.)

    "hipped roof," 1851, short for gambrel roof (1763), so called for its shape, from gambrel "horse's hind leg" (c. 1600), earlier "wooden bar to hang carcasses" (1540s), perhaps from Old North French gamberel, from gambe "leg," from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg" (see gambol (n.)).ETD gambrel (n.).2

    game (adj.2)

    "ready for action, unafraid, and up to the task;" probably literally "spirited as a game-cock," 1725, from game-cock "bird bred for fighting" (1670s), from game (n.) in the "sport, amusement" sense. Middle English adjectives gamesome, gamelich meant "joyful, playful, sportive."ETD game (adj.2).2

    game (v.)

    Middle English gamen "to sport, joke, jest," from Old English gamenian "to play, jest, joke;" see game (n.). The Middle English word is little recorded from c. 1400 and modern use for "to play at games" (1520s) probably is a new formation from the noun; and it might have been re-re-coined late 20c. in reference to computer games. Related: Gamed; gaming.ETD game (v.).2

    game (n.)

    c. 1200, from Old English gamen "joy, fun; game, amusement," common Germanic (cognates: Old Frisian game "joy, glee," Old Norse gaman "game, sport; pleasure, amusement," Old Saxon gaman, Old High German gaman "sport, merriment," Danish gamen, Swedish gamman "merriment"), said to be identical with Gothic gaman "participation, communion," from Proto-Germanic *ga- collective prefix + *mann "person," giving a sense of "people together."ETD game (n.).2

    The -en was lost perhaps through being mistaken for a suffix. Meaning "contest for success or superiority played according to rules" is first attested c. 1200 (of athletic contests, chess, backgammon). Especially "the sport of hunting, fishing, hawking, or fowling" (c. 1300), thus "wild animals caught for sport" (c. 1300), which is the game in fair game (see under fair (adj.)), also gamey. Meaning "number of points required to win a game" is from 1830. Game plan is 1941, from U.S. football; game show first attested 1961.ETD game (n.).3

    gaming (n.)

    c. 1500, "gambling," verbal noun from game (v.). From 1980s in reference to video and computer games. Gaming-house is from 1620s; gaming-table from 1590s.ETD gaming (n.).2

    gamely (adv.)

    "courageously," 1861, from game (adj.2) + -ly (2). In Old English and Middle English the adverb meant "artfully; joyfully."ETD gamely (adv.).2

    game (adj.1)

    "lame," 1787, from north Midlands dialect, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of gammy (tramps' slang) "bad," or from Old North French gambe "leg" (see gambol (n.)).ETD game (adj.1).2


    cock bred for fighting or from fighting stock, 1670s, from game (n.) in the sporting and amusement sense + cock (n.1). Figurative use by 1727.ETD game-cock.2

    gamey (adj.)

    also gamy, 1844, "spirited, plucky," from game (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "tasting or smelling strongly" is from 1863.ETD gamey (adj.).2

    gamekeeper (n.)

    one who has responsibility for animals kept for sport, 1660s, from game (n.) in the "wild animal caught for sport" sense + keeper.ETD gamekeeper (n.).2

    gamelan (n.)

    "East Indian orchestra," 1817, from Javanese gamel "to handle."ETD gamelan (n.).2

    gamer (n.)

    mid-15c., "an athlete" (mid-13c. as a surname, Johannes le Gamer), agent noun from game (v.). Meaning "one devoted to playing video or computer games" is attested by 1981 (by 1975 in reference to players of Dungeons & Dragons). Gamester is attested from 1580s but also sometimes meant "prostitute" (compare old slang The Game "sexual intercourse" (by 1930s), probably from the first game ever played "copulation"). From 1550s as "a gambler." Gamesman is from 1947.ETD gamer (n.).2

    gamete (n.)

    "sexual protoplasmic body," 1880, coined 1878 by German cytologist Eduard Strasburger (1844-1912), the widespread attribution of the word's coinage to Mendel being apparently erroneous. From Greek gamete "a wife," gametes "a husband," from gamein "to take to wife, to marry," from PIE root *gem(e)- "to marry" (source also of Greek gambros "son-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law;" Sanskrit jamih "brother, sister," jama daughter-in-law;" Avestan zama-tar "son-in-law;" Latin gener "son-in-law"). See also -gamy. The seventh month of the ancient Attic calendar (corresponding to late January and early February) was Gamelion, "Month of Marriages." Related: Gametal.ETD gamete (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "marriage" in anthropology and "fertilization" in biology, from Greek -gamia, from gamos "marriage" (see gamete).ETD -gamy.2

    gamy (adj.)

    see gamey.ETD gamy (adj.).2

    gamin (n.)

    "street urchin," 1837, from French gamin (late 18c.), perhaps from Berrichon dialect gamer "to steal." Introduced in English in translations of Hugo.ETD gamin (n.).2

    gamine (n.)

    "small, slim, pert young girl," 1899, from French gamine, fem. of gamin.ETD gamine (n.).2


    third letter of the Greek alphabet, c. 1400, from Greek gamma, from Phoenician gimel, said to mean literally "camel" (see camel) and to be so called for a fancied resemblance of its shape to some part of a camel. Gamma rays (1903) originally were thought to be a third type of radiation, but later were found to be very short X-rays.ETD gamma.2

    gammadion (n.)

    ornamental figure formed of four capital gammas, Medieval Greek gammadion, diminutive of Greek gamma (see gamma).ETD gammadion (n.).2

    gammer (n.)

    "old woman," 1570s, contraction of grandmother (corresponding to gaffer, but according to OED representing a different construction).ETD gammer (n.).2

    gammon (n.)

    "ham or haunch of a swine," especially when smoked and cured, early 15c., gambon, from Old North French gambon "ham" (Old French jambon, 13c.), from gambe (Old French jambe) "leg," from Late Latin gamba "leg of an animal" (see gambol (n.)).ETD gammon (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "marrying," from Greek gamos "marriage, a wedding" (see gamete) + -ous.ETD -gamous.2

    gamut (n.)

    1520s, "low G, lowest note in the medieval musical scale" (the system of notation devised by Guido d'Arezzo), a contraction of Medieval Latin gamma ut, from gamma, the Greek letter, used in medieval music notation to indicate the note below the A which began the classical scale, + ut (later replaced by do for greater sonority), the low note on the six-note musical scale that took names from syllables sung to those notes in a Latin sapphic hymn for St. John the Baptist's Day:ETD gamut (n.).2

    The ut being the conjunction "that." Gamut also was used for "range of notes of a voice or instrument" (1630s), also "the whole musical scale," hence the figurative sense of "entire scale or range" of anything, first recorded 1620s. When the modern octave scale was set early 16c., si was added, changed to ti in Britain and U.S. to keep the syllables as different from each other as possible. Ut later was replaced by more sonorous do (n.). See also solmization.ETD gamut (n.).3

    ganache (n.)

    "soft, sweet paste made of melted chocolate and cream," 1962, from Italian, the thing itself is said by Ayto ["Diner's Dictionary"] to have been created in Paris c. 1850; the name is of unknown origin. It is attested 19c. as the name of a kind of garment and an insult ("blockhead").ETD ganache (n.).2

    ganch (v.)

    "to impale on hooks or pointed stakes as a means of capital punishment," 1610s, from French *ganchor, from Italian *ganciare, from gancio "hook," from Turkish kanca "hook, barb, grapnel." Related: Ganched; ganching. Also, as a noun, the name of the punishment or the thing used in it, 1620s.ETD ganch (v.).2

    gander (n.)

    Old English gandra "male goose," from Proto-Germanic *gan(d)ron (source also of Dutch gander, Middle Low German ganre), from PIE *ghans- "goose" (see goose (n.)). OED suggests perhaps it was originally the name of some other water-bird and cites Lithuanian gandras "stork." Sometimes used 19c. in reference to single men or male-only gatherings (compare stag). Meaning "a long look" is 1912, from gander (v.).ETD gander (n.).2

    gander (v.)

    "take a long look," slang, 1886, from gander (n.) on the notion of craning one's neck like a goose; earlier it meant "to wander foolishly" (1680s). Related: Gandered; gandering.ETD gander (v.).2

    gandy dancer

    "railway maintenance worker," 1918, American English slang, of unknown origin; dancer perhaps from movements required in the work of tamping down ties or pumping a hand-cart, gandy perhaps from the name of a machinery belt company in Baltimore, Maryland.ETD gandy dancer.2

    gang (n.)

    from Old English gang "a going, journey, way, passage," and Old Norse gangr "a group of men, a set," both from Proto-Germanic *gangaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Danish, Dutch, Old High German, German gang, Old Norse gangr, Gothic gagg "act of going"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *ghengh- "to step" (source also of Sanskrit jangha "shank," Avestan zanga- "ankle," Lithuanian žengiu "I stride"). Not considered to be related to go.ETD gang (n.).2

    The sense evolution is probably via meaning "a set of articles that usually are taken together in going" (mid-14c.), especially a set of tools used on the same job. By 1620s this had been extended in nautical speech to mean "a company of workmen," and by 1630s the word was being used, with disapproving overtones, for "any band of persons traveling together," then "a criminal gang or company" (gang of thieves, gang of roughs, etc.). By 1855 gang was being used in the sense "group of criminal or mischievous boys in a city." In American English, especially of slaves working on plantations (1724). Also formerly used of animal herds or flocks (17c.-19c.). Gangway preserves the original sense of the word, as does gang-plank.ETD gang (n.).3

    gang (v.)

    1856, from gang (n.). Related: Ganged; ganging. To gang up (on) is attested by 1919.ETD gang (v.).2


    from Sanskrit ganga "current, river."ETD Ganges.2

    gang-bang (n.)

    1953, "group sex" (especially many men on one woman or girl, regardless of consent), from gang + bang (v.) in its slang, "perform sexual intercourse" sense. Earlier was gang-shag (1927). Sense of "participate in a street gang" is by 1968. Related: Gang-banger; gang-banging.ETD gang-bang (n.).2

    gangbusters (n.)

    to come on like gangbusters (c. 1940) is from popular U.S. radio crime-fighting drama "Gang Busters" (1937-57) which always opened with a cacophony of sirens, screams, pistol shots, and jarring music.ETD gangbusters (n.).2

    gangling (adj.)

    "long and loose-jointed," by 1812, from Scottish and Northern English gang (v.) "to walk, go," which is a survival of Old English gangan, which is related to gang (n.). The form of the word is that of a present-participle adjective from a frequentative verb (as in fondling, trampling), but no intermediate forms are known. The sense extension would seem to be via some notion involving looseness in walking.ETD gangling (adj.).2

    gangland (n.)

    "the criminal underworld; the realm of gangsters," 1912, from gang (n.) + land (n.).ETD gangland (n.).2

    gangly (adj.)

    1872 (Mark Twain, "Roughing It"), an American English alteration of gangling.ETD gangly (adj.).2

    ganglia (n.)

    Latin plural of ganglion. Related: Gangliac, ganglial, gangliar, ganglious. The larger ones are plexuses (see plexus).ETD ganglia (n.).2

    ganglion (n.)

    1680s, "tumor, swelling;" 1732 as "bundle of nerves," from Greek ganglion "tumor under the skin," used by Galen for "nerve bundle;" of unknown origin. According to Galen, the proper sense of the word was "anything gathered into a ball."ETD ganglion (n.).2

    Gang of Four

    1976, translating Chinese sirenbang, the nickname given to the four leaders of the Cultural Revolution who took the fall in Communist China after the death of Mao.ETD Gang of Four.2

    gang-plank (n.)

    also gangplank, 1842, American English, from gang in its nautical sense of "a path for walking, passage" (see gangway) + plank. Replacing earlier gang-board.ETD gang-plank (n.).2

    gangrenous (adj.)

    1610s, from gangrene + -ous. Perhaps modeled on French gangréneux.ETD gangrenous (adj.).2

    gangrene (n.)

    "putrefaction or necrosis of soft tissues," 1540s, cancrena, from Latin gangraena (Medieval Latin cancrena), from medical Greek gangraina "an eating or gnawing sore," literally "that which eats away," a dissimilated, reduplicated form of gran- "to gnaw," from PIE root *gras- "to devour" (see gastric).ETD gangrene (n.).2


    rap style generally credited to West Philly hip hop artist Schoolly D, but as for the word itself, his "Gangster Boogie" (1984) used the conventional spelling; NWA was spelling it gangsta by 1988.ETD gangsta.2

    gangster (n.)

    "member of a criminal gang," 1896, American English, from gang (n.) in its criminal sense + -ster. Related: Gangsterism (1918).ETD gangster (n.).2

    gangway (n.)

    "temporary passageway" to a ship, building under construction, etc., ultimately from Old English gangweg "road, passage, thoroughfare;" a compound of gang (n.) in its original sense "a going, journey, way, passage" and way (n.). Nautical use dates from 1680s in reference to a passage on the ship, from 1780 of the opening at the side whereby people enter and leave, and by 1840s of the board or bridge they use to get to and from the dock. As a command to clear way, attested by 1912, American English. In British parliamentary use, with somewhat the same sense aisle has in the U.S. Congress.ETD gangway (n.).2

    ganja (n.)

    also ganjah, powerful preparation of cannabis sativa, 1800, from Hindi ganjha.ETD ganja (n.).2

    gank (v.)

    by 2000 as the verb that indicates the situation of many players or NPCs simultaneously attacking one; gamer slang, perhaps borrowed from hip-hop and drug-abuse slang (where it is attested by 1995 in the sense of "to rob, to rip off"); perhaps by 1990 in sports jargon. Of unknown origin; perhaps ultimately based on gang (v.). Related: Ganked; ganking.ETD gank (v.).2

    gannet (n.)

    Old English ganot, name of a kind of sea-bird, from Proto-Germanic *ganton- (source also of Dutch gent, Middle High German ganiz, Old High German ganazzo "a gander"), from PIE *ghans- "a goose" (see goose (n.)). Old French gante is from Germanic.ETD gannet (n.).2

    gantlet (n.)

    "military punishment in which offender runs between rows of men who beat him in passing," 1640s, gantlope, gantelope, from Swedish gatlopp "passageway," from Old Swedish gata "lane" (see gate (n.)) + lopp "course," related to löpa "to run" (see leap (v.)). Probably borrowed by English soldiers during Thirty Years' War.ETD gantlet (n.).2

    By normal evolution the Modern English form would be *gatelope, but the current spelling (first attested 1660s, not fixed until mid-19c.) is from influence of gauntlet (n.1) "a glove," "there being some vague association with 'throwing down the gauntlet' in challenge" [Century Dictionary].ETD gantlet (n.).3

    gantry (n.)

    also gauntree, 1570s, "four-footed stand for a barrel," probably from Old North French gantier (Old French chantier, 13c., "store-room, stock-room"), from Latin cantherius "rafter, frame," also "a gelding," from Greek kanthelios "pack ass," which is related to kanthelion "rafter," of unknown origin. The connecting notion in all this seems to be framework for carrying things. Meaning "frame for a crane, etc." is from 1810. Railway signal sense attested by 1889. Derivation from tree (n.) + gawn "small bucket," an obsolete 16c. contraction of gallon, might be folk-etymology.ETD gantry (n.).2


    Trojan youth taken by Zeus as his cup-bearer (and lover), from Greek Ganymedes, perhaps a non-Greek name, or from ganymai "I rejoice, am glad" (related to ganos "brightness; sheen; gladness, joy; pride") + medea (plural) "counsels, plans, cunning" (see Medea); taken in Greek folk-etymology to mean "delighting in genitals."ETD Ganymede.2

    Used figuratively of serving-boys (c. 1600) and catamites (1590s). Associated with Aquarius in the zodiac. As the name of one of the four large satellites of Jupiter, proposed in Latin 1610s, but not widely used before 1847.ETD Ganymede.3

    gaol (n.)

    see jail (n.), you tea-sodden football hooligan. Formerly in official use in Britain, and thus sometimes regarded in U.S. as a characteristic British spelling (though George Washington used it); by the time of OED 2nd edition (1980s) both spellings were considered correct there; the g- spelling is said to have been dominant longest in Australia.ETD gaol (n.).2

    gaoler (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of jailer.ETD gaoler (n.).2

    gap (n.)

    early 14c., "an opening in a wall or hedge; a break, a breach," mid-13c. in place names, from Old Norse gap "chasm, empty space," related to gapa "to gape, open the mouth wide," common Proto-Germanic (cognates: Middle Dutch, Dutch gapen, German gaffen "to gape, stare," Swedish gapa, Danish gabe), from PIE root *ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open."ETD gap (n.).2

    From late 14c. as "a break or opening between mountains;" broader sense "unfilled space or interval, any hiatus or interruption" is from c. 1600. In U.S., common in place names in reference to a deep break or pass in a long mountain chain (especially one that water flows through), a feature in the middle Appalachians.ETD gap (n.).3

    gap (v.)

    1847, "to make gaps" (transitive); 1948 "to have gaps" (intransitive), from gap (n.). Related: Gapped; gapping.ETD gap (v.).2

    gape (v.)

    early 13c., from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old Norse gapa "to open the mouth wide, gape" (see gap (n.)). Related: Gaped; gaping.ETD gape (v.).2

    As a noun, "act of opening the mouth," from 1530s.ETD gape (v.).3

    gaping (adj.)

    "standing wide open," 1570s (implied in gapingly), present-participle adjective from gape (v.).ETD gaping (adj.).2

    gaper (n.)

    1630s, "one who stares open-mouthed in wonder," agent noun from gape (v.). Gaper delay in traffic control parlance attested by 1995.ETD gaper (n.).2

    gappy (adj.)

    "full of gaps," 1846, from gap (n.) + -y (2).ETD gappy (adj.).2

    gap-toothed (adj.)

    "having teeth set wide apart," 1570s, from gap (n.) + toothed "having teeth" (of a certain kind); see tooth (n.). Chaucer's gat-toothed, sometimes altered to this, is from Middle English gat (n.) "opening, passage," from Old Norse gat, cognate with gate (n.).ETD gap-toothed (adj.).2


    1867, abbreviation of Grand Army of the Republic, the organization founded by union veterans of the American Civil War. The Grand Army was the name given (on the French model) to the army that organized in Washington in 1861 to put down the rebellion.ETD G.A.R..2

    gar (n.)

    pike-like fish, 1765, American English, shortening of garfish (mid-15c.), from fish (n.) + Middle English gare, gore "a spear," from Old English gar "spear," from Proto-Germanic *gaisa- "spear" (source also of Old Norse geirr "spear; point of an anvil," Old Saxon, Old High German ger, German Ger "spear"), from PIE *ghaiso- "a stick, spear" (see goad (n.)). The fish so called for its long sharp snout. Compare Edgar, garlic.ETD gar (n.).2

    garage (v.)

    1906, from garage (n.). Related: Garaged.ETD garage (v.).2

    garage (n.)

    1902, from French garage "shelter for a vehicle," a specific use of a word meaning generally "place for storing something," from verb garer "to shelter," also "to dock ships," from Old French garir "take care of, protect; save, spare, rescue," from Frankish *waron "to guard" or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German waron "take care"), from Proto-Germanic *war- "to protect, guard," from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover." Garage-sale (n.) first attested 1966.ETD garage (n.).2


    1780, typeface named for 16c. French type-founder Claude Garamond.ETD Garamond.2

    garb (n.)

    "fashion of dress," 1620s, from earlier sense "person's outward demeanor" (c. 1600), originally "elegance, stylishness" (1590s), from French garbe "graceful outline, gracefulness, comeliness" (Modern French galbe) or directly from Italian garbo "grace, elegance, pleasing manners, " which is from Old High German gar(a)wi "dress, equipment, preparation," or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *garwi- "equipment; adornment" (see gear (n.)).ETD garb (n.).2

    garb (v.)

    "to dress, clothe, array," 1836, from garb (n.). Related: Garbed (1590s); garbing.ETD garb (v.).2

    garbage (n.)

    "refuse, filth," 1580s; earlier "giblets, refuse of a fowl, waste parts of an animal (head, feet, etc.) used for human food" (early 15c., in early use also gabage, garbish, garbidge ), of unknown origin; OED says probably from Anglo-French "like many other words found in early cookery books." In its sense of "waste material, refuse" it has been influenced by and partly confused with garble (q.v.) in its older sense of "remove refuse material from spices;" Middle English had the derived noun garbelage but it is attested only as the action of removing the refuse, not the material itself.ETD garbage (n.).2

    Perhaps the English word originally is from a derivative of Old French garbe/jarbe "sheaf of wheat, bundle of sheaves," though the sense connection is difficult. This word is from Proto-Germanic *garba- (source also of Dutch garf, German garbe "sheaf"), from PIE *ghrebh- (1) "to seize, reach" (see grab (v.)).ETD garbage (n.).3

    "In modern American usage garbage is generally restricted to mean kitchen and vegetable wastes" [Craigie]. Used figuratively for "worthless, offensive stuff" from 1590s. Garbage can is from 1901. Garbage collector "trash man" is from 1872; Australian shortening garbo attested from 1953. Garbology "study of waste as a social science" is by 1976; garbologist is from 1965.ETD garbage (n.).4

    garbanzo (n.)

    "chick-pea," 1759 (from 1712 as garvanzo), from Spanish garbanzo, which is said to be ultimately from Greek or Basque.ETD garbanzo (n.).2

    garbled (adj.)

    by 1620s of spices; by 1774 of language; past-participle adjective from garble (v.).ETD garbled (adj.).2

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