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Daily Trivia


Question: Why does the word "gauntlet" describe both what one runs and what can be thrown down as a challenge?

Take your time.

Ready?

And, The Answer Is:



































The Answer:

Although the words are coincidentally the same in each sense, they derive from different languages.

The expression running the gauntlet (or gantlet) entered English in the 17th century.

This military punishment, in which a soldier had to run between parallel lines of men who beat him as he passed by, comes from the Swedish word gantlope, which means a path or course (not a mammal with horns or a melon.)

All things considered, I'd rather be line dancing.

On the other hand, throwing down the gauntlet (a glove), originally a challenge from one knight to another is from the Old French word, gantelet, or small glove.

Sometimes a knight, challenged in more ways than one, misinterpreted the gesture and returned the glove with a friendly, "Did you drop this?"

Then the only way to deliver the message was to use the glove to smack him in the puss.

(Source: BREWER'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE)


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