dough

Definitions

General English

Food

  • A mixture of flour, liquid and possibly yeast and other ingredients which after kneading has a firm, pliable and sometimes elastic consistency rather like putty. Used for making bread, buns, scones, etc.

Slang

  • noun money. This was the most popular American slang term for money from the 19th century until the mid-1960s when it was supplanted by bread.

Origin & History of “dough”

Dough is an ancient word, with related forms scattered throughout the Indo-European languages. It goes back to an Indo-European base *dheigh-, which meant ‘mould, form, knead’, and produced Latin fingere ‘mould’ and figūra ‘figure’ (source between them of English effigy, faint, feign, fiction, figment, and figure), Sanskrit dih- ‘smear’, Gothic digan ‘mould, form’, Avestan (a dialect of Old Iranian) diz ‘mould, form’ (source of the last syllable of English paradise), and the Old English element *dig- ‘knead’, which forms the last syllable of lady. It also produced the prehistoric Germanic *daigaz ‘something kneaded’, hence ‘dough’, whose modern Germanic descendants include German teig, Dutch deg, Swedish deg, Danish dej, and English dough.

In northern areas dough used to be pronounced /duf/, which has given modern English the ‘plum duff’ (19th c.).
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