Printable Version
Pronunciation: o-gêl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To stare at something as though you have intentions toward it, to stare at amorously or lecherously depending on the point of view: the ogler's or oglee's.

Notes: Today's Good Word presents a problem of spelling. We have a tendency, especially in the US, to double the G, spelling the word oggle. English once possessed a word oggle which meant "to shudder with fear". This word hasn't been heard from since the latter half of the 16th century. Today's Good Word comes with the standard retinue of derivations: ogler and ogling, which serves both as an adjective and noun.

In Play: We may ogle things inanimate: "If Melba Toste is on such a diet, why is she ogling the dessert tray so." We may also ogle people: "I don't like the way the way Harry Wormser-Goode is ogling Stella Dorro; he looks as though he would like to devour her."

Word History: This word came to English via Low German oeglen, frequentative of oegen "to look at, to eye" from oege "eye". This word comes from a Proto-Indo-European word whose remains are strewn throughout today's Indo-European languages: okw- "eye, to see". We find it in Russian as oko "eye" and, indeed, English eye. Latin oculus "eye" is present in several English borrowings, including ocular and oculist. The Ancient Greek word for "mirror" was katoptron, literally "a back looker". Even English window comes from this PIE word. Window was brought into England by Vikings, in whose Old Norse language the word for window was vindauga. This compound noun comprises vindr "wind" + auga "eye", which is to say, "wind eye". (Albert Skiles doesn't come to alphaDictionary just to ogle the contributions of others, he comes to make intriguing suggestions like today's Good Word himself.)

Dr. Goodword,

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