Word of the Day: budge

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
December 9, 2015
 
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budge (verb) sound LISTEN icon
 
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We pushed the car but it wouldn't budge.
 
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Budge is a verb that means to move slightly. In everyday conversation it means to make room for someone else, and informally, it also means to change your opinion or somebody else's.
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Example sentences
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I've been stuck in traffic for hours; none of the cars are budging an inch!
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Tom was so proud that he wouldn't budge, even after realizing he was wrong.
 
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Words often used with budge
 
In the UK the phrasal verbs "budge up" and "budge over" are used informally to mean move to make room for someone. Example: "The kids budged up to let their two friends in the car." "Budge over a bit, will you? I've got hardly any room here."
Did you know?
 
In some parts of the US, it is common to hear children use "budge" in the sense of going in front of someone in a line, although in the UK they say "push in front of you." In other parts of the US, this sense of "budge" is not well-known at all. Another slightly less childish way to say this in the US and UK is that someone "cut in front of you." Example: "I waited in line for the bus, but a man cut in front of me and got the last free seat!" Also don't forget that US speakers say "line" and UK speakers say "queue."
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Commonly confused with
 
Budge is very close to the English word budget, in terms of spelling and pronunciation, but they have completely different meanings.
Origin
 
Budge dates back to the late sixteenth century and comes from the Vulgar Latin word bullicāre, meaning to bubble, and the Anglo-French and Middle French word bouger, meaning to stir.
 
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