Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 149

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….

Hedge

This term, which is now a multi-trillion industry in the form of hedge funds, was defined by the dictionary as “to make a hedge; to secure a bet, or wager, laid on one side, by taking the odds on the other, so that, let what will happen, a certain gain secured, or hedged in, by the person who takes this precaution; who is then said to be on velvet”.

The word hedge is from the old English ‘hegg’, similar to the Dutch word ‘heg’ and the German word ‘hecke’, with the financial version just meaning to be on both sides of a hedge.