About Edges: Interactive Concepts

Into the Edge, Walking Lost

Maggi Hambling

Environmental, psychological, political, social, conceptual

About Walking

About Edges


Old English ecg ‘sharpened side of a blade’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch egge and German Ecke, also to Old Norse eggja (see egg2), from an Indo-European root shared by Latin acies ‘edge’ and Greek akis ‘point’.


edge (n.)

Old English ecg “corner, edge, point,” also “sword” (also found in ecgplega, literally “edge play,” ecghete, literally “edge hate,” both used poetically for “battle”), from Proto-Germanic *agjo (source also of Old Frisian egg “edge;” Old Saxon eggia “point, edge;” Middle Dutch egghe, Dutch eg; Old Norse egg, see egg (v.); Old High German ecka, German Eck “corner”), from PIE root *ak- “be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce.”

Spelling development of Old English -cg to Middle English -gg to Modern English -dge represents a widespread shift in pronunciation. To get the edge on (someone) is U.S. colloquial, first recorded 1911. Edge city is from Joel Garreau’s 1992 book of that name. Razor’s edge as a perilous narrow path translates Greek epi xyrou akmes. To be on edge “excited or irritable” is from 1872; to have (one’s) teeth on edge is from late 14c., though “It is not quite clear what is the precise notion originally expressed in this phrase” [OED].

edge (v.)

late 13c., “to give an edge to” (implied in past participle egged), from edge (n.). Intransitive meaning “to move edgeways (with the edge toward the spectator), advance slowly” is from 1620s, originally nautical. Meaning “to defeat by a narrow margin” is from 1953. The meaning “urge on, incite” (16c.) often must be a mistake for egg (v.). Related: Edger.


  • *ak-
  • double-edged
  • edged
  • edgeways
  • edging
  • edgy
  • egbert
  • egg
  • selvage
  • straight-edge


From Middle English egge, from Old English eċġ, from Proto-West Germanic *aggju, from Proto-Germanic *agjō (compare Dutch egge, German Ecke, Swedish egg, Norwegian egg), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- (“sharp”) 

(compare Welsh hogi (“to sharpen, hone”), Latin aciēs (“sharp”), acus (“needle”), Latvian ašsass (“sharp”), Ancient Greek ἀκίς (akís, “needle”), ἀκμή (akmḗ, “point”), and Persian آس‎ (ās, “grinding stone”)).


 (Entry 1 of 2)1a: the cutting side of a bladea razor’s edgeb: the sharpness of a bladea knife with no edgec

(1): FORCEEFFECTIVENESSblunted the edge of the legislation

(2): vigor or energy especially of bodymaintains his hard edged

(1): incisive or penetrating qualitywriting with a satirical edge

(2): a noticeably harsh or sharp qualityher voice had an edge to it

(3): a secondary but distinct qualityrock music with a bluesy edgee: keenness or intensity of desire or enjoymentlost my competitive edge2a: the line where an object or area begins or ends 

BORDERon the edge of a plainb: the narrow part adjacent to a borderthe edge of the deckc(1): a point near the beginning or the endespecially

BRINKVERGEon the edge of disaster(2): the threshold of danger or ruinliving on the edged: a favorable margin 

ADVANTAGEhas an edge on the competition3: a line or line segment that is the intersection of two plane faces (as of a pyramid) or of two planes


edgeverb edgededging

transitive verb1ato give an edge tobto be on an edge oftrees edging the lake2to move or force graduallyedged him off the road3to incline (a ski) sideways so that one edge cuts into the snow4to defeat by a small margin —often used with outedged out her opponent

 (Entry 1 of 2)1athe cutting side of a bladea razor’s edgebthe sharpness of a bladea knife with no edgec(1)FORCEEFFECTIVENESSblunted the edge of the legislation(2)vigor or energy especially of bodymaintains his hard edged(1)incisive or penetrating qualitywriting with a satirical edge(2)a noticeably harsh or sharp qualityher voice had an edge to it(3)a secondary but distinct qualityrock music with a bluesy edgeekeenness or intensity of desire or enjoym

What is an Edge?
Edgy, edginess. Can fall on either side or balance along.
Why do they Exist
Systems, property, division. Outside, inside in-between.
See Ooh Sheep.
Different Types of Edge.
Breaking Down
Reclaiming the Other Side

Literature on Walking and Psychogeography