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Gage, gauge, and gouge

Besides being a surname, a gage is something given as a security of an obligation, such as a glove or hat in a duel. It is also a variant spelling of gauge, though the latter spelling is much more common.

Gauge can be an tool that measures and displays the level of something. Or as a verb gauge can be to judge or assess something, to use a gauge, or to stretch something wider, specifically ear lobes. The last definition is not yet entered into the dictionary, but understood colloquially.


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To gouge something is to dig into it or to overcharge. The dictionary says the latter definition is North American, but its use has spread. Gouge is also the name of a kind of chisel that is used to gouge.

Examples

With comparative gages like the one in question, a lot can be done to ensure that parts go into the gage the same way every time. [MMS Online]

Mardian’s rain gage holds 5 inches and was overflowing Sunday morning. [Aberdeen News]

Labour MP Lucy Powell said she would be tabling a series of parliamentary questions to gauge the true extent to which private nurseries were opting not to offer free places to two-year-olds from deprived backgrounds. [The Guardian]

The benchmark equity gauge climbed 1.5 percent last week for the best gain since June. [BNN Canada]

People who are obsessed with getting the largest stretch possible are known in the business as a “gauge queen” or “gauge king”, according to Fox. [BBC]

Ace photographer Gregg Porteous caught Manly front-rower Josh Starling appearing to gouge Souths forward Dave Tyrrell in Friday night’s match at the SCG. [Daily Telegraph]

Victoria’s biggest clubs Hawthorn and Collingwood have vowed not to price-gouge their fans with big membership fee rises despite massive new equalisation taxes. [Herald Sun]

This time, though, the indignity of the move — and the 15 percent across-the-board gouge that Gannett has mandated for the staff of all of its newsrooms — was too much. [Nashville Scene]

Using a wood gouge and laboring every day for a month, Brackett carved a bowl in the top of the stump, sanded it smooth and soaked it to remove the tannic wood taste. [SF Gate]

 

 

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