Word of the Day : January 13, 2012


verb THOHL


: endure


"There was now temptation to resist, as well as pain to thole." -- From Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel Kidnapped

"She moved closer to him and he noticed her faint perfume. Her cheeks were rosy red, and a tiny drip hung from the end of her nose. She was cold, but she was tholing it so as not to spoil his fun." -- From Patrick Taylor's 2010 novel An Irish Country Christmas

Did You Know?

"Thole" is one of the English language's oldest words -- it existed in Middle English in its current form and in Old English with the form "tholian" -- but in these modern times it tholes only in the corners of England's northern dialects. It has the same origin as "tolerate": both come from the Greek word "tlēnai," meaning "to bear." Unrelated to this "thole" is the (also very old) noun "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. This "thole" comes from Greek "tylos," meaning "knob" or "callus."

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