A gorgeous etymology

Having studied Latin & Greek I’m always fascinated by etymology – the study of where words originated. I seem to learn new ones every day… today’s is the origin of the word “gorgeous”.

According to etymonline.com, a great online etymology dictionary, the word comes from the Old French word gorge, which means the bosom or throat. The implication is that something is so beautiful it would be worth hanging around your neck as jewelry: thus its modern-day meaning of “very beautiful”.

I could spend many hours browsing etymology dictionaries, looking at entries for something as seemingly simple as why we pluralize words by adding an -s to the end (the answer is a little more complex!) to the origins of interesting words like “antepenultimate” (from the Latin words ante (before) + paen (almost) + ultima (last)).

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