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CADGE

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CADGE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:49 pm

• cadge •


Pronunciation: kæj • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: (Colloquial) To mooch, bum, sponge, or beg; to panhandle.

Notes: Today's Good Word is used more in Britain than in the US. In the US we use mooch in pretty much the same sense. Even in Britain it is a bit old-fashioned according to the MacMillan Dictionary. The abstract and personal nouns are straightforward: cadging and cadger, respectively. The adjective cadgy is long since obsolete.

In Play: In Britain we might hear this: "Let's knock up Gretchen and see if we can cadge a cuppa from her." Translated into US English that would be, "Let's knock on Gretchen's door and see if we can mooch a cup of tea from her." The English language separates the Brits and the Yanks as much as it unites us.

Word History: The origin and original meaning of today's Good Word is veiled in mystery. In some early passages the spelling varied between cache, cacche, and catch. This last spelling suggests it may have been a variant of catch, along the lines of such pairs as hotchpotch : hodgepodge, botch : bodge, and smutch : smudge. The first historical spelling suggests today's word may have come from Old French cacher "to put away, hide". Either explanation is only speculation, of course. If the first is correct, and the origin is catch, we can trace the word's history from that point back. In Middle English it was cacchen from Old North French cachier "to chase", inherited from Latin captare "to seize". English borrowed various words with the same root, which went into the making of capture, captive and captious. The original word came to English through its Old Germanic origins as have. (Kathleen McCune of Norway may freely cadge a word of thanks from us for submitting today's Good Word.)
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Re: CADGE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:50 am

I've heard cadge used here in USA.

Teens and others around here would understand "let's knock up Gretchen" to mean let's get her pregnant. They may also use that expression in GB.

Finally, is there a relation between cadger andd codger? I do know that usually the consonants are more important in showing relationships than vowels.
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Re: CADGE

Postby MTC » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:01 am

Sorry about Gretchen. Will she have the child? What! A conservative Supreme Court Justice, you say!? The cad!

But putting Gretchen"s delicate condition aside for a moment, "cadge" sounds so Dickensian I thought the author must have used the word any number of times. Wrong. Search of an online Dickens concordance reveals he employed the word only once in the phrase "...of all that is roving and cadger-like in nature,...." Shows you where our intuitions will lead us. (Just ask Gretchen.)

Turning to the relationship between "cadger" and "codger," here's a paragraph on point from an online forum:

As for “codger,” meaning an old man, often with overtones of eccentricity, it may well be derived from “cadge,” but by a path which has no connection to falconry. The earliest use of the noun “cadger” in the 15th century was for itinerant dealers who “cadged” (carried) their wares from town to town. Later the term was applied to beggars and tramps (leading to our modern use of the verb “to cadge” to mean “to beg”). “Codger” is probably simply a dialect variation of “cadger,” and originally, in the 18th century, meant a stingy, miserly old man. The word has, of course, been softened over the years, and today “codger” is a fairly affectionate word for an older man.

(http://www.word-detective.com/2008/07/codger/)
Last edited by MTC on Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:23 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: CADGE

Postby call_copse » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:05 am

I did snigger when I read the 'let's knock up Gretchen' line Perry as your explanation would be the primary sense used here. The other sense - to call on someone on spec - would probably (to my mind) be considered more archaic, although you would obviously grasp that meaning in this context, as the sense of the other meaning could hardly be undertaken as a joint venture.

Cadge is reasonably commonly used - I'd often use it asking for a lift 'Could I cadge a lift to the gym at lunch please?'. Not sure about a relation to codger but always wondered about whether cads (archaic?) did a lot of cadging...
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Re: CADGE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:14 am

Thanks for the responses, folks. In addition to codger, you told me of online concordances, which I did not know existed apart from Biblical ones. I do try to circumvent those with quotes, which works surprisingly well.
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Re: CADGE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:30 pm

Yup, I've heard codger, never cadge.
And as for Gretchen. Poor lass.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: CADGE

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:14 am

One of my favorite Red Skelton characters is Freddy the Freeloader. Freeload can be added to our list of synonyms for cadge. It was coined in the 1930s when, "Brother can you spare a dime?" was being seriously asked. Someone recently said 47% of USA citizens are freeloaders. I’m on Social Security and Medicare and I don’t call that freeloading. We paid for those programs. Farm subsidies are still being paid to mega-farmers. Is that freeloading? That’s as political as I am going to get.
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Re: CADGE

Postby bamaboy56 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:15 pm

Never heard of the word cadge before now, but will use it now. Most of the people I know may not know what it means without some type of explanation, though. Makes for a good conversation starter I've found.
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Re: CADGE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:30 pm

bamaboy56 wrote:Never heard of the word cadge before now, but will use it now. Most of the people I know may not know what it means without some type of explanation, though. Makes for a good conversation starter I've found.


Panhandle seems almost "profiling" the poor. I don't like
mooch, so cadge
it is for me as well.
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Re: CADGE

Postby call_copse » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:50 am

Just a minor point from my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, but cadge can only be used for a trivial favour really. You could certainly cadge a cup of tea or a lift but once you go beyond that sort of scale you are into hustle or scrounge territory.

At the moment you might easily cadge a brace of pheasants (the most popular bird to shoot in the UK, around now or a little earlier) from a friendly farm worker. Take a van full and you'd be freeloading.
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Re: CADGE

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:38 pm

call_copse: You are probably right about cadging being for a trivial favor. I am just an old redneck codger trying to break the inscrutability of British slang.
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