Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 30, 2020 is:

cadge • KAJ  • verb

: beg, sponge


“Reiner had his car and was driving to Manhattan to drop the book off to his editor. Wouk cadged a ride in, and Reiner took him up on his polite offer to read it.” — Frank Lovece, Newsday (Long Island, New York), 30 June 2020

“A friend ordered the Burrito Grande, easily the biggest burrito I’ve ever seen. I cadged a bite, and the flavors were delicate, but tasty, complemented by the creamy cheese sauce on top.” — Leslye Gilchrist, The Shreveport (Louisiana) Times, 27 Sept. 2019

Did you know?

As long ago as the 1400s, peddlers traveled the British countryside, each with a packhorse or a horse and cart—first carrying produce from rural farms to town markets, then returning with small wares to sell to country folk. The Middle English name for such traders was cadgear; Scottish dialects rendered the term as cadger. Etymologists are pretty sure the verb cadge was created as a back-formation of cadger (which is to say, it was formed by removal of the “-er” suffix). At its most general, cadger meant “carrier,” and the verb cadge meant “to carry.” More specifically, the verb meant to go about as a cadger or peddler. By the 1800s, it was used when someone who posed as a peddler turned out to be more of a beggar, from which arose our present-day use.

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