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Community Comment

A Word A Day — cajole

Good evening, Netizens…

March 11, 2013

Word of the Day

  • cajole
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-JOHL\


a : to persuade with flattery or gentle urging : coax b : to obtain from someone by gentle persuasion
: to deceive with soothing words or false promises

Brianna was able to cajole some money from her father before leaving for the movies.

“Walking across Niagara Falls on a high wire is supposed to be hard; that's the point of doing it. But after nearly a year of cajoling, pressuring and outright begging for legal permission to cross the scenic gorge between Canada and the United States, Wallenda is coming face to face with the practical challenges of fulfilling his lifelong dream.” — From an article by Charlie Gillis at, May 25, 2012


“Cajole” comes from a French verb, “cajoler,” which has the same meaning as the English word. You might not think to associate “cajole” with “cage,” but some etymologists theorize that “cajoler” is connected to not one but two words for “cage.” One of them is the Anglo-French word “cage,” from which we borrowed our own “cage.” It comes from Latin “cavea,” meaning “cage.” The other is the Anglo-French word for “birdcage,” which is “gaiole.” It's an ancestor of our word “jail,” and it derives from Late Latin “caveola,” which means “little cage.” Anglo-French speakers had a related verb, “gaioler,” which meant “to chatter like a jay in a cage.” It's possible that “cajoler” is a combination of “gaioler” and “cage.”

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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