Word of the Day : September 13, 2014

grubstake

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verb GRUB-stayk

Definition

: to provide with material assistance (as a loan) for launching an enterprise or for a person in difficult circumstances

Did You Know?

Grubstake is a linguistic nugget that was dug up during the famous California Gold Rush, which began in 1848. Sometime between the first stampede and the early 1860s, when the gold-seekers headed off to Montana, prospectors combined grub ("food") and stake, meaning "an interest or share in an undertaking." At first grubstake was a noun, referring to any kind of loan or provisions that could be finagled to make an undertaking possible (with the agreement that the "grubstaker" would get a cut of any profits). By 1879, grubstake was also showing up as a verb meaning "to give someone a grubstake," and, since at least 1937, it has been applied to other situations in which a generous benefactor comes through with the funds.


Examples

For the production of his short film, Zachary was grubstaked by online donations from friends and supporters.

"Almost simultaneously, the Auerbachs opened a series of stores. They sold merchandise on commission throughout the Western states…. They grubstaked miners, held mining interests, purchased a sawmill and a 30-pack mule train." - Eileen Hallet Stone, The Salt Lake Tribune, November 16, 2013



Test Your Vocabulary

What 6-letter word beginning with "n" first appeared in the early 1850s and is often preceded by "gold"? The answer is …


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