February 06, 2018
canter (noun)
\KAN-ter\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a three-beat gait of a horse resembling but smoother and slower than the gallop
How do you use it?
When Silver broke into a gallop, Ryley quickly pulled back the reins until he returned to a canter.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "canter" was formed by shortening the name of something. What do you think that thing is?

"Canter" comes from "Canterbury," the name of a town in England whose cathedral was a popular pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. In the late 1300s, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote _The Canterbury Tales_, a set of stories told by a group of fictional pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury. By the 1600s, such pilgrimages were a thing of the past and were largely remembered through Chaucer's tales. But it was then that English speakers applied "Canterbury" to the gait at which they thought the pilgrims on horseback rode. The word was also used as a verb and eventually was shortened to "canter."
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