Gauntlet or gantlet

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Run the gauntlet, err, gantlet

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had been using the words anxious and eager at the wrong times. (They are not interchangeable)   Well, here is another set of words I have not used correctly.

I always would say run the gauntlet but it looks like I should say run the gantlet.

Here are the definitions of the two words:

Gauntlet   A French word meaning a heavy glove usually worn by a knight. It was often armored and had a heavy cuff that covered the wrist or part of the arm.

 To throw down the gauntlet means to issue a challenge or defy someone. To pick up the gauntlet (glove) is to accept someone’s challenge like the knights used to do.

Gantlet   A Swedish word for a lane   A gantlet is a lane between two lines of people armed with staves, whips or other weapons through which someone being punished is forced to run. They were clubbed or whipped by the people on either side. It was usually a military punishment.

The word can figuratively mean any series of trials and difficulties.  Now the punishment can be criticism instead of physical weapons.


2 responses to “Gauntlet or gantlet

  1. Diana McKinney

    Well, that was news to me. I also used the word gauntlet when it should have been gantlet. Thanks Bob.

  2. You are welcome. Thanks for the support.