Charger, charge

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
Perry Lassiter
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Charger, charge

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:48 pm

My wife added to the decorations today by setting the plates on chargers, large dishlike things that extend three or four inches around the plates. I got to thinking we also call those things we plug cell phones into "chargers," and likewise the word applies to prancing horses, especially military ones.

Then I looked up charge in our online dictionaries here and found 17 definitions for its use as a verb, and 15 as a noun! The etymologies all go through old English to French meaning to load. The word to me is fascinating for its wide variety of usage. I can't help but wonder whether it is indeed only one word with one derivation. And btw, my original thought about the big plate as a charger is declared obsolete by two dictionaries. I'm old, but that old?

Philip Hudson
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Re: Charger, charge

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:31 am

You are really old when your dish is a trencher. Google it and you get several definitions but the one I am most familiar with is the one Shakespeare would have eaten on. It was a shallow bowl carved out of wood. A person with a good appetite was called a trencherman. Does trench mouth come from the disease caught from eating out of hard to clean bowls or from mouth infections caught while living in the trenches. I would look it up but I am late for an appointment, so would someone do it for me?
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