The word nag came up on
last Tuesday’s program. The question was, how can it convey two such very
One meaning is a horse,
especially an old or feeble one. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the origin is uncertain, but then it
goes on to cite an early modern Dutch word—negge, a small horse.
The other nag means to
scold, find fault, or persistently complain. The OED points to a nexus of
Scandinavian words as the source. They meant to rub, grumble, complain, or
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