Word of the Week (208): BRODDLE (probability 18195), by David Sutton

BRODDLE is a dialect word meaning to pierce, related to BROD, a goad or spike, which itself can be used as a verb meaning to prod.

The lexicon has many other dialect or archaic words related to piercing. Spenser, whose characters clearly did a lot of piercing, gives us PEARCE, PERCE, PERSE, EMPIERCE, EMPERCE and PERCEN, along with the adjectives PERSANT and PERSAUNT. Note that PERCEN is one of those Spenserian verbs that exist in the infinitive only: the others are CATCHEN, CAUSEN, MISDONNE, TOSSEN and WEETEN. Note also that the past tense of PERSE is PERST, not PERSED*.

PIERCE itself also has archaic past tenses PEARST and PIERST.

Keats contributes the adjective PERCEANT.

ENGORE is another old word that carries the idea of goring or piercing, as does GRIDE (or GRYDE), though this can also mean to cut, especially with a grating sound.

Things that have been pierced can be said to be PERTUSE or PERTUSED, though note that there is no PERTUSING* (play REPUTINGS instead!).

Then we have the various tools that have a piercing function, AWL, AUGER, BRADAWL, BROG (a Scots word for an awl), ELSIN or ELSHIN (also Scots words for an awl) and GIMLET. Of these, BROG and GIMLET can be used as verbs.


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