Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cyptic Words Which, Indeed, Meander

Based on a friendly discussion of words I had with some friends last night, I wanted to offer this for a vocabulary building opportunity to whomever might find it interesting, with a special thanks to Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary, and Enjoy.

gambit (n):
1: a chess opening in which a player risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position
2a (1): a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point: topic (2): b : a calculated move : stratagem (personal note: see? It could have had something to do with gambling)

gammit: Unknown because there is no word in the dictionary that matches it.

1: the whole series of recognized musical notes
2: an entire range or series

Therefore, "Run the gamut": To cover a whole range: as in “The students' reactions to the novel ran the gamut from delight to loathing.”

1: a glove worn with medieval armor to protect the hand
2: any of various protective gloves used especially in industry
3: an open challenge (as to combat) —used in phrases like throw down the gauntlet
4: a dress glove extending above the wrist

Therefore, "Running the gauntlet": (originally gantlet, and, rarely, gantlope or gantelope) is a form of physical punishment wherein a man is compelled to run between two rows — a gauntlet — of soldiers who strike him as he passes.


Jennifer Lee said...

My gambit example: "Hey, is gambit a word? Or is gamut? They can't BOTH be words."
Also: "I gamble a bit."
I'm SO glad you cleared this up without anyone having to throw down the gauntlet!

Miss L said...

Or run it, heaven forbid. lol. :)

Katie said...

gammit, I broke a nail? Did I just offend people?