thole was our Word of the Day on 01/13/2012. Hear the podcast!
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The Long History of thole
Thole has a long history in the English language. It existed in Middle English in its current form, and in Old English in the form tholian, but in these modern times it tholes only in a few of England’s northern dialects. It has, however, a linguistic cousin far more familiar to most English speakers: the word tolerate traces back to Latin tolerare, meaning “to endure, put up with,” and tolerare and tholian share a common ancestor. Unrelated to our featured word thole, there is another (also very old) thole, which can be used as a synonym of peg or pin, or can refer to either of a pair of pins set in the gunwale of a boat to hold an oar in place.
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