We propose to derive deviation measures through the Minkowski gauge of a given set of acceptable positions. We show that given a suitable acceptance set, any positive homogeneous deviation measure can be accommodated in our framework. In doing so, we provide a new interpretation for such measures, namely, that they quantify how much one must shrink a position for it to become acceptable. In particular, the Minkowski gauge of a set which is convex, stable under scalar addition, and radially bounded at non-constants, is a generalized deviation measure. Furthermore, we explore the relations existing between mathematical and financial properties attributable to an acceptance set on the one hand, and the corresponding properties of the induced measure on the other. Dual characterizations in terms of polar sets and support functionals are provided.