Dudgeon vs dungeon

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Dudgeon and dungeon are pronounced and spelled in a similar fashion, but mean two very different things. We’ll discuss the difference between the words dudgeon and dungeon, their origins, and examine a few sentences using these words.

Dudgeon means a state of extreme indignation, the feeling of being deeply offended. An archaic meaning of the word dudgeon is the wood used in the hilt of a dagger, though this definition does not seem to have any relation to the current meaning of the word dudgeon. Today, the word dudgeon is primarily used in the phrase high dudgeon. This is not a commonly used phrase at this time. The word appeared with its current use in the late 1500s, though the etymology is unknown.

A dungeon is a dark, miserable prison, usually underground, usually in connection with a castle. Interestingly, the oldest dungeons are not underground but in a tower. This fact is reflected in the etymology of the word dungeon. It is derived from the Old French word donjon, which means the great tower of a castle. Dungeons are no longer sanctioned by most governments, they are for the most part relegated to history, high fantasy literature and gaming. Dungeon is sometimes used figuratively or sarcastically to describe an unpleasant place where someone is dwelling.


I know I have every right to walk out in high dudgeon, but the facts remain – I am not financially independent. (The Guardian)

There is little that could match the high dudgeon of our politicians, as they expressed their outrage over that commission decision and the whopping figure involved. (The Irish Examiner)

Available on the new comedy streaming service Seeso, Harmonquest features comedians playing Pathfinder — a tabletop role-playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons — in front of a live audience and behind a table furnished with character sheets, snacks and myriad colorful dice. (LA Weekly)

A native New Yorker decided to go back to Ghana at age 50 after a stunning experience in one of its horrific slave dungeons. (The Atlanta Black Star)