May 12, 2012
- gable (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : the triangular part of an outside wall of a building that is formed by the sides of the roof sloping down from the ridgepole to the eaves2 : a triangular structure (as over a door or window)
- How do you use it?
- "Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst." (Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables)
- Are you a word wiz?
Language scholars believe that "gable" is probably related to one of the words below. Which word do you think it is?The words "javelin" (which means "a light spear") and "gable" may not appear to have much in common. But looks can be deceiving -— the two words are probably related. Language experts think that "gable" traces to a Medieval Latin word that is ultimately of Celtic origin. "Javelin" entered English from Middle French and also stemmed originally from Celtic roots. Through their Celtic ancestry, both "gable" and "javelin" are likely tied to "gabul," an Old Irish word meaning "forked stick."