Word Confusion: Gage versus Gauge

Posted May 21, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Yet another word I thought I knew…sigh… Of course, in my defense, I’ve only ever seen gage used in medieval histories when a knight would thrown down his gage as an insult to another, demanding the person he’s insulting meet him in battle. I guess I’ve not read too many technical manuals with any variety of measuring devices!

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Gage Gauge
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Image courtesy of the Daily Mail

A greengage is a type of plum .


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I, ArtMechanic is the photographer of this Vermiers gauge.

Part of Grammar:
Noun 1; Verb, transitive 2

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: gages
Past tense or past participle: gaged
Gerund or present participle: gaging

Alternative spelling for gauge

Noun 3; Verb, transitive 4

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: gauges
Past tense or past participle: gauged
Gerund or present participle: gauging

Alternative spelling for gage

Noun:
Valued object deposited as a guarantee of good faith 1

Glove thrown down as a challenge to a fight

[Nautical] Position of a sailing vessel

Short for greengage

[Old-fashioned American slang] Marijuana

A form of jewelry which creates a hole of variable size in the earlobe, popular especially among some young people in the West, perhaps on analogy with similar devices found in various non-Western indigenous cultures (Wiktionary)

Verb, transitive:
Always use followed by a direct object


Offer a thing or one’s life as a guarantee of good faith

[Archaic] To wager, to bet

Noun:
Instrument or device for measuring the magnitude, amount, or contents of something, usually with a visual display

Thickness, size, or capacity of something

Verb, transitive:
To estimate or determine the magnitude, amount, or volume of something

Form a judgement or estimate of a situation

Measure the dimensions of an object

Examples:
Noun:
He threw down his gage.

He’s got the weather gage.

Verb, transitive:
I gage thee my life!

Noun:
Bring that gauge over here.

Verb, transitive:
We’ll have to gauge that exactly.

Derivatives:
Adjective: gageable
Noun: gager
Adjective: gaugeable, multigauge
Adverb: gaugeably
Noun: gauger
Verb, transitive: misgauge, misgauged, misgauging, regauge, regauged, regauging
History of the Word:
1 Middle English is from Old French gage and is of Germanic origin and related to wage and wed.

2 Middle English is from Old French gager and is of Germanic origin and related to wage and wed.

3 Middle English (denoting a standard measure) is from the Old French gauge in a variant of Old Northern French jauge and is of unknown origin.

4 Middle English (denoting a standard measure) is from the Old French gauger in a variant of Old Northern French jauger and is of unknown origin.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

DEA mar loose” is the work of a Drug Enforcement Administration employee, uploaded by AlbertCahalan~commonswiki, and is in the public domain and being weighed on “Weegschaal1” which is M.Minderhoud’s own work under the GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0 licenses, via Wikimedia Commons.


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