One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- archaic term for target (sense 2 of the noun)
- ‘In Jacobite times, targes were the highlanders' main means of defence in battle.’
- ‘Their blood up, the Jacobites, most of them armed with small round shields, known as targes, and double-edged broadswords, hurtled down the slope.’
- ‘To the Highlanders the Targe was both a life preserving tool and a status symbol with ornate decorations.’
- ‘Some targes had center bosses of brass, and a few of these could accept a long steel spike which screwed into a small ‘puddle’ of lead which was fixed to the wood, under the boss.’
- ‘As the claymores, targes and antique pistols on the walls of Seaforth Cottage also testify, domicile north of the Great Glen can also engender a degree of swashbuckling.’
Old English targa, targe, of Germanic origin; reinforced in Middle English by Old French targe.
nounScottish, Northern Irish
A formidably aggressive older woman.‘she was an old targe of a schoolteacher’
- ‘I'm going to look forward to being a targe in my old age.’
- ‘The mother is a driven targe and the father is a dreamer.’
- ‘It is set in a health farm run by a targe, whose handyman is an amiable drunk.’
- ‘We want more of Roy and his targe of a mother.’
- ‘For all her doughty declarations, there's the odd hint of vanity and vulnerability in this targe.’
Late 19th century: from the verb targe ‘to reprimand, scold, beat’, of uncertain origin.
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