‘Thole’ is an Old English word for ‘to suffer’ or to endure without complaint.  It also refers to a pin, typically one of a pair, fitted to the gunwale of a rowing boat on which the oar pivots, a ‘thole pin’.

‘He knew what they had tholed, the long times and troubles they’d come through without a leader.’

‘“They’ll just have to learn to thole,” my aunt would say about some family who had suffered an unforeseen bereavement … John Crowe Ransom, the line, ‘Sweet ladies, long may ye bloom, and toughly I hope ye may thole.’

Source: Seamus Heaney, Beowulf, xxv & 3

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