• goblet •
gah-blet • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A glass on a stem and a base, usually made of decorated metal, but large fancy wine glasses also qualify.
Notes: A wine glass is usually promoted to a goblet if it is large, fancy, or made out of some metal. Goblet is today a lexical orphan, no longer related to such words as gob or gobble, though it was at one time, as the Word History will show.
In Play: Goblets are properly receptacles of wine, though they often serve other purposes. "Let us now raise a goblet to the health and happiness of our glorious hostess of the evening," would not be an inappropriate toast at the end of a pleasant dinner. Figurative uses of this word, however, are not precluded: "The goblet of life runneth over for Anita Job just now: she married and found a plum of a position in computer programming in the same week." (Wonder if who she married is connected with the job.)
Word History: Today's Good Word was taken from Old French gobelet "small cup" from gobel, gobeau "cup". Gobel seems to have come from gobe "mouthful", a close relative of gober "to gulp", which also occurs in gobemouche. Gobe was also brought into English as gob. The word behind all these derivations seems to have been an Old Celtic word similar to Gaelic gob "mouth, beak", but no one is sure. We do know that the English verb started out as gobben "to drink greedily" and that it went on to become gobble "to eat greedily", but not the turkey's gobble. (A proud grandfather now lifts a goblet of gratitude to Laurel Beard, age 4, for asking about today's Good Word.)
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