Student Dictionary

One entry found for auger.
Main Entry: au·ger
Pronunciation: primarystressodot-gschwar
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English auger "auger," an altered form of nauger, from Old English nafogamacrr "tool for boring holes in the hub of a wheel"
: any of various tools made like a spiral or screw and used for boring holes or moving loose material
Word History The tool called an auger has nothing to do with people's navels, but the words auger and navel are related. This tool was first used to bore a hole for the axle in the nave or hub of a wheel. Such a nave was called nafu in Old English. Nafu is related to the word nafela, which has become our word navel. The Old English ancestor of auger was nafogamacrr, which was made up of nafu and gamacrr, meaning "spear." By Middle English nafogamacrr had lost a syllable and shrunk to nauger, and it no longer made sense as a compound. Since a nauger sounds just like an auger, many people began to write an auger. That is how our modern spelling of the word was born.

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