assay.

\a-SEY\ , verb;
1.To examine or analyze.
2.In metallurgy, to analyze (an ore, alloy, etc.) in order to determine the quantity of gold, silver, or other metal in it.
3.To attempt; try.
It’s especially enthralling, says I, to assay topics that many others have no desire to assay.  Simple responses, commercials, or road signs…all of these can be torn apart in an annoyingly philosophical way.  I have few friends that put up with it, though some enjoy when I assay idioms.  The original meanings behind ‘knock on wood’, ‘rule of thumb’, ‘hands down’, ‘brand spanking new’, etc. are quite fascinating.
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