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c.1500, faulty separation of Middle English a nauger, from Old English nafogar "nave drill," from Proto-Germanic *nabogaizaz (cf. Old Norse nafarr, Old Saxon nabuger, Old High German nabuger), a compound whose first element is related to nave (n.2) and whose second is identical to Old English gar "a spear, borer" (see gar). For similar misdivisions, see adder. The same change took place in Dutch (avegaar).