Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Pete from Traverse City called in to comment on a word that has many meanings: dope. It came into English from the Dutch word doop, meaning a sauce made for dipping.   

Most of us will think of an illegal drug like heroin or a really stupid person when we hear the word dope, but there are many other meanings.

  • a narcotic used to enhance the performance of a racehorse.
  • factual information (the inside dope). 
  • an absorbent material used in certain manufacturing processes.
  • a type of lacquer used to waterproof and tauten the cloth surfaces of airplane wings in the early days of aviation.
  • a regionalism for a carbonated cola.
  • a syrup or sweet sauce that is poured on ice cream.
  • any thick liquid or semi-fluid used as an article of food or as a lubricant.
  • a substance added to gasoline or other fuel to increase its efficiency.
  • slang for excellent or impressive.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition

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