November 15, 2018
verge (noun)
\VERJ\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : something that borders, limits, or bounds : edge2 : brink, threshold
How do you use it?
"Even when he wasn't smiling, he appeared to be on the verge of doing so, an arsenal of buried smiles waiting just beneath the surface." (Kevin Henkes, _Olive's Ocean_)
Are you a word wiz?

From which of these Latin words do you think "verge" derives?

"Verge" comes ultimately from the Latin word "virga," meaning "twig." In Latin, "virga" also eventually came to be used of a line or a rod. The Anglo-French took this last sense of the Latin "virga" to make their own word, "verge," which referred to a rod or staff, then a staff of authority, and then by extension, the area under that authority. Later in the Middle Ages, the word "verge" expanded further to refer to the edge of that area, and then later to any edge or boundary line. We now use it in a more abstract way, speaking of "being on the verge" of acting or doing something.
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