Amazing isn’t it, how one measly letter can have such an effect on a word? Obviously you’d never want to tell a woodpecker to auger well. You’d end up with holes in the siding. But let a flock of birds fly by, and it could augur well…especially since you wouldn’t end up with holes.
…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.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
Plural for noun: augers
Verb, intransitive & transitive
|Always related to tools and engineering
A tool with a corkscrew bit for boring holes in wood or the ground
[Historical; in ancient Rome] A religious official who observed natural signs, especially the behavior of birds, interpreting these as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of a proposed action
[Archaic] Foresee or predict
|I have an auger bit I use in my drill to quickly make holes for bulbs.
“Above it rig a stage, on the forks of trees, with a firm socket for the stock or shaft of your auger to work in.” – W. B. Lord’s Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life, Travel & Exploration
“Then Baugi took the auger again and he bored deeper and deeper into the rock.” – Padraic Colum’s The Children of Odin
We’ll need an auger to break up that blockage.
We must ask the augur to read the signs.
The return to the gold standard augured badly for industry.
A new coalition would not augur a new period of social reforms.
|History of the Word:|
|Old English nafogār is from nafu + gār (piercer). The n was lost when some clerk merged a nauger||1 Late Middle English from the Latin for diviner.|
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!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
“Bird of Ill Omen Used as an Oracle” from Wellcome Images is under the CC BY 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons, is about to be drilled by “Augur Well“, which is courtesy of The Phrase Finder, as part of an article that explores the difference between auger and augur.