Etymology
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dowse (v.)

"to search for deposits of ore, water, etc., by a dowsing rod," 1690s, a south England dialect word of uncertain origin, said to have been introduced to Devon by German miners in Elizabethan times. Related: Dowsed; dowsing.

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dragster (n.)

"hot rod or constructed car designed for maximum engine efficiency with no regard for style," 1954, from drag (n.) in the racing sense + -ster, perhaps abstracted from roadster.

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angling (n.)

"art of fishing with a rod and line," late 15c., verbal noun from angle (v.1).

It is but a sory lyfe and an yuell to stand anglynge all day to catche a fewe fisshes. [John Palsgrave, 1530]
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fescue (n.)

1510s, "teacher's pointer," alteration of festu "piece of straw, twig" (late 14c.), from Old French festu "straw; object of little value" (12c., Modern French fétu), from Vulgar Latin *festucum, from Latin festuca "straw, stalk, rod," probably related to ferula "reed, whip, rod" (see ferule). Sense of "pasture, lawn grass" is first recorded 1762. Wyclif (1382) has festu in Matthew vii.3 for the "mote" in the eye. In Old French rompre le festu was to symbolically break a straw to signify the breaking of a bond.

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perk (n.1)

"horizontal bar serving as a support for various purposes," late 14c., "rod, pole, perch for a hawk," a variant of perch (n.1) or from Medieval Latin perca, Old French perce, variant of perche.

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wand (n.)
c. 1200, from Old Norse vondr "rod, switch" (cognate with Gothic wandus "rod," Middle Swedish vander), from Proto-Germanic *wend- "to turn," see wind (v.1)). The notion is of a bending, flexible stick. Compare cognate Old Norse veggr, Old English wag "wall," Old Saxon, Dutch wand, Old High German want, German Wand "wall," originally "wickerwork for making walls," or "wall made of wattle-work" (an insight into early Germanic domestic architecture). Magic wand is attested from c. 1400 and shows the etymological sense of "suppleness" already had been lost.
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gauge (v.)
"ascertain by exact measurements," mid-15c., from Anglo-French gauge (mid-14c.), from Old North French gauger "standardize, calibrate, measure" (Old French jaugier), from gauge "gauging rod," a word of unknown origin. Perhaps from Frankish *galgo "rod, pole for measuring" or another Germanic source (compare Old Norse gelgja "pole, perch," Old High German galgo; see gallows). Related: Gauged; gauging. The figurative use is from 1580s. "The spelling variants gauge and gage have existed since the first recorded uses in Middle English, though in American English gage is found exclusively in technical uses" [Barnhart].
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punty (n.)

"iron rod used in manipulating hot glass," 1660s, ponte, from French pontil, a diminutive form from Latin punctum "a point" (from nasalized form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). Also ponty, and sometimes in English in the French form.

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besom (n.)

Old English besma "bundle of twigs" (used as a broom or a flail), from West Germanic *besman- (source also of Old Frisian besma "rod, birch," Old Saxon besmo, Old High German besmo "broom, besom," German Besen, Dutch bezem), which is of unknown origin, possibly from a non-IE substrate language.

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rat fink (n.)
also ratfink, 1963, teen slang, see rat (n.) + fink (n.). Popularized by, and perhaps coined by, U.S. custom car builder Ed "Big Daddy" Roth (1932-2001), who made a hot-rod comic character of it, supposedly to lampoon Mickey Mouse.
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