One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small edible European freshwater fish, often used as bait by anglers.
Gobio gobio, family Cyprinidae
- ‘Brian caught his first fish, a gudgeon, from the river Tees as a young boy in the 1940's fishing with a Bakelite float.’
- ‘There were very large numbers of gudgeon, roach, dace, chub and skimmer bream stranded in the field following the floodbank breaching and whilst this resulted in some deaths, a large number were returned to the river.’
- ‘The Environment Agency was called in by British Waterways after the fish - mainly gudgeon and roach - were seen in distress in the Aire and Calder Navigation at Castleford.’
- ‘By the time he was ten, exactly 50 years ago, he had proper tackle and had graduated to fishing the River Aire which teamed with fish: trout, roach, chub and gudgeon, all species which thrive in fast flowing, clean waters.’
- ‘There are also rudd, bream, eels, gudgeon, crucian carp, tench, minnows, perch, sticklebacks, the odd trout, pike and barbel present.’
2archaic A credulous or easily fooled person.
- ‘Has the old gudgeon never heard of a celebratory glass of champagne?’
Late Middle English: from Old French goujon, from Latin gobio(n-), from gobius ‘goby’.
1A pivot or spindle on which a bell or other object swings or rotates.
- ‘Between rings, the bell wheels squeaked in their gudgeons like an old barn door.’
- 1.1 The tubular part of a hinge into which the pin fits to unite the joint.
- ‘As far as the engine is concerned, it has all the latest technology in its manufacture, with race-spec wrist pins on the gudgeons, oil sprayed special pistons, you name it.’
- 1.2 A socket at the stern of a boat, into which a rudder is fitted.
- 1.3 A pin holding two blocks of stone together.
- ‘Five or six head staves are fitted together with wooden dowels or stainless steel gudgeons (headless nails).’
Middle English: from Old French goujon, diminutive of gouge (see gouge).
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