Gudgeon n One of those rather delightful words that sound as though they can, and in fact do, mean practically anything. A gudgeon can be:
—A pivot at the end of a rod, serving as the base for a rocker or a wheel.
—A ring that fits over a hook to keep a gate closed.
—A pin connecting two blocks of stone.
—A pin holding a piston rod and a connecting rod together.
—A metal eye or socket on the stern of a boat, to receive the rudder.
—A gullible person.
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Gudgeon appears in the First.