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    giddy (adj.) — glad (adj.)

    giddy (adj.)

    Old English gidig, variant of gydig "insane, mad, stupid," perhaps literally "possessed (by a spirit)," if it is from Proto-Germanic *gud-iga- "possessed by a god," from *gudam "god" (see god (n.)) + *-ig "possessed." Meaning "having a confused, swimming sensation" is from 1560s (compare sense evolution of dizzy). Meaning "elated" is from 1540s. Related: Giddily; giddiness.ETD giddy (adj.).2

    giddily (adv.)

    mid-13c., "madly, foolishly, in a flighty or foolish manner," from giddy + -ly (2). Meaning "dizzily" is by 1729.ETD giddily (adv.).2

    giddy-up (interj.)

    command to a horse to go, 1909, probably an extended form of earlier giddap (1867), itself probably from get up. Compare gee.ETD giddy-up (interj.).2


    masc. proper name, name of an Israelite judge and warrior [Judges vi:11-viii:25], from Hebrew Gidh'on, literally "feller," from stem of gadha "he cut off, hewed, felled." In reference to the Bible propagation society, 1906, formally Christian Commercial Young Men's Association of America, founded 1899. The hotel room Gideon Bible so called by 1922.ETD Gideon.2

    gif (n.)

    1987, acronym from Graphics Interchange Format.ETD gif (n.).2

    gifted (adj.)

    "talented, endowed by nature with some skill or power," 1640s, past-participle adjective from gift (v.). Related: Giftedness.ETD gifted (adj.).2

    gift (v.)

    "bestow a gift," 16c., from gift (n.). Related: Gifted; gifting.ETD gift (v.).2

    gift (n.)

    mid-13c. "that which is given" (c. 1100 in surnames), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse gift, gipt "gift; good luck," from Proto-Germanic *geftiz (source also of Old Saxon gift, Old Frisian jefte, Middle Dutch ghifte "gift," German Mitgift "dowry"), from *geb- "to give," from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive." For German Gift, Dutch, Danish, Swedish gift "poison," see poison (n.).ETD gift (n.).2

    Sense of "natural talent" (regarded as conferred) is from c. 1300, perhaps from earlier sense of "inspiration, power miraculously bestowed" (late 12c.), as in the Biblical gift of tongues. Old English cognate gift is recorded only in the sense "bride-price, marriage gift (by the groom), dowry" (hence gifta (pl.) "a marriage, nuptials"). The Old English noun for "a giving, gift" was giefu, which is related to the Old Norse word. Sense of "natural talent" is c. 1300, perhaps from earlier sense of "inspiration" (late 12c.). The proverbial gift horse was earlier given horse:ETD gift (n.).3

    The modern form perhaps traces to Butler's "Hudibras" (1663), where the tight iambic tetrameter required a shorter phrase:ETD gift (n.).4

    gift-wrap (v.)

    1928, from gift (n.) + wrap (n.). Related: Gift-wrapped.ETD gift-wrap (v.).2

    gig (n.1)

    "light, two-wheeled carriage, usually drawn by one horse" (1791), also "small boat," 1790, perhaps imitative of bouncing. There was a Middle English ghyg "spinning top" (in whyrlegyg, mid-15c.), also "giddy girl" (early 13c., also giglet), from Old Norse geiga "turn sideways," or Danish gig "spinning top." Similar to words in continental Germanic for "fiddle" (such as German Geige); the connecting sense might be "rapid or whirling motion."ETD gig (n.1).2

    gig (n.2)

    "job," originally in the argot of jazz musicians, attested from 1915 but said to have been in use c. 1905; of uncertain origin. As a verb, by 1939. Among the earlier meanings of gig was "combination of numbers in betting games" (1847). Gig-economy is attested from 2009. Related: Gigged; gigging.ETD gig (n.2).2


    word-forming element meaning "billion" (U.S.) in the metric system, 1947, formed arbitrarily from Greek gigas "giant" (see giant).ETD giga-.2

    gigabyte (n.)

    1982, from giga- "billion" + byte.ETD gigabyte (n.).2

    gigantic (adj.)

    1610s, "pertaining to giants," from Latin gigant- stem of gigas "giant" (see giant) + -ic. Replaced earlier gigantine (c. 1600), gigantical (c. 1600), giantlike (1570s). The Latin adjective was giganteus. Of material or immaterial things, actions, etc., "of extraordinary size or proportions," by 1797.ETD gigantic (adj.).2

    gigantism (n.)

    medical condition causing abnormal increased size, 1854, from Latin gigant- "giant" (see gigantic) + -ism.ETD gigantism (n.).2

    gigaton (n.)

    by 1977, from giga- + ton.ETD gigaton (n.).2

    giggle (v.)

    c. 1500, probably imitative. Related: Giggled; giggling; giggly. As a noun from 1570s.ETD giggle (v.).2

    giglot (n.)

    "lewd, wanton woman" (mid-14c.); later "a giddy, romping girl;" of unknown origin; compare gig (n.1).ETD giglot (n.).2

    gigolo (n.)

    "professional male escort or dancing partner, young man supported financially by an older woman in exchange for his attentions," 1922, from French gigolo, formed as a masc. of gigole "tall, thin woman; dancing girl; prostitute," perhaps from verb gigoter "to move the shanks, hop," from gigue "shank" (12c.), also "fiddle," Old French giga from Frankish *giga- or some other Germanic word (compare German Geige "fiddle"). This is perhaps the same word that was borrowed earlier as Middle English giglot (early 14c.) "lewd, wanton girl," which was later applied to males (mid-15c.) with the sense "villainous man." It is perhaps related to a number of words in Germanic meaning "dance, gambol," and "fiddle," perhaps connected by the notion of "rapid, whirling motion" (see gig (n.1)). Middle English gigletry meant "lasciviousness, harlotry" (late 14c.).ETD gigolo (n.).2

    gila monster (n.)

    "venomous lizard of the American southwest" (Heloderma suspectum), 1877, American English, from Gila River, which runs through its habitat in Arizona. The river name probably is from an Indian language, but it is unknown now which one, or what the word meant in it.ETD gila monster (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Old French Guillebert (from Old High German Williberht, literally "a bright will") or Old French Gilebert, from Gisilbert, literally "a bright pledge," from Old High German gisil "pledge," a Celtic loan-word (compare Old Irish giall "pledge") + beorht "bright" (from PIE root *bhereg- "to shine; bright, white."). It was the common name for a male cat (especially in short form Gib) from c. 1400 (see Tom). As a unit of magneto-motive force, it honors English physicist William Gilbert (1544-1603). For the Gilbert Islands, see Kiribati.ETD Gilbert.2

    gild (v.)

    Old English gyldan "to gild, to cover with a thin layer of gold," from Proto-Germanic *gulthjan (source also of Old Norse gylla "to gild," Old High German ubergulden "to cover with gold"), verb from *gultham "gold" (see gold). Related: Gilded; gilding. Figuratively from 1590s.ETD gild (v.).2

    gilding (n.)

    mid-15c., "action of gilding;" 1630s, "golden surface produced by gilding;" verbal noun from gild (v.).ETD gilding (n.).2

    gilded (adj.)

    1560s, past-participle adjective from gild (v.). Late Old English had gegylde; Middle English had gilden (adj.). In modern use the more dignified past participle of gild, alternative to gilt. Shakespeare's lilies were never gilded; the quote ("King John," iv.2) is, "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily." Gilded Age as an era in U.S. history (roughly 1870-1900) is from the novel "The Gilded Age" by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, published in 1873.ETD gilded (adj.).2


    masc. proper name, from Old French Gilles, from Latin Egidius, Aegidius (name of a famous 7c. Provençal hermit who was a popular saint in the Middle Ages), from Greek aigidion "kid" (see aegis). Often used in English as a typical name of a simple-minded farmer.ETD Giles.2


    Biblical site (Genesis xxxi.21, etc.), traditionally from the name of a grandson of Manasseh, perhaps from Aramaic (Semitic) gal "heap of stones."ETD Gilead.2

    gill (n.1)

    "organ of breathing in fishes," early 14c., of unknown origin, perhaps related to Scandinavian words, such as Old Norse gjölnar which perhaps means "gills," and Old Danish -gæln (in fiske-gæln "fish gill"); said to be ultimately from a PIE *ghel-una- "jaw" (cognate: Greek kheilos "lip"). Related: Gills.ETD gill (n.1).2

    gill (n.2)

    liquid measure (in modern use commonly a quarter of a pint), late 13c., from Old French gille, a wine measure, and from Medieval Latin gillo "earthenware jar," words of uncertain origin, perhaps related to the source of gallon.ETD gill (n.2).2


    fem. proper name, shortened form of Gillian. Also see Jill. Gill-flirt "giddy young woman" is from 1630s.ETD Gill.2


    fem. proper name, from French Juliane, from Late Latin Juliana (a saint's name), fem. of Iulianus, literally "of Julius," the Roman gens name (see Julius).ETD Gillian.2

    gillyflower (n.)

    type of flowering plant, 1550s, folk etymology alteration (by association with unrelated flower) of gilofre "gillyflower" (late 14c.), originally "clove" (c. 1300), from Old French girofle "clove" (12c.), from Latin caryophyllon, from Greek karyophyllon "clove, nut leaf, dried flower bud of clove tree," from karyon "nut" (see karyo-) + phyllon "leaf" (from suffixed form of PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). The flower so named for its scent.ETD gillyflower (n.).2

    gilt (adj.)

    "gilded," c. 1400, past participle of Middle English gilden "to gild," from Old English gyldan (see gild (v.)). Also used as a noun with a sense of "gilding" (early 15c.).ETD gilt (adj.).2

    gimbal (n.)

    1570s, "joints, connecting links," alteration of gemel "twins" (late 14c.), from Old French jumel "a twin" (12c., Modern French jumeau), from Latin gemellus, diminutive of geminus (adj.) "twin, born together" (see geminate). As a type of contrivance for securing free motion in suspension, by 1780. Related: Gimbals. Gemmels (plural) was Middle English for "twins" (late 14c.), also "Gemini," from Old French gemeles; hence also gemel ring, a double finger-ring that may be taken apart; also gimmal.ETD gimbal (n.).2

    gimcrack (n.)

    also jimcrack, "trifle, knick-knack," by c. 1820, earlier "mechanical contrivance" (1630s), originally "showy person" (1610s), of uncertain origin. Perhaps an alteration of Middle English gibecrake, the name of some kind of ornament on wooden furniture (mid-14c.), which is perhaps from Old French giber "to rattle, shake" + some special sense of Middle English crak "sharp noise, crack." In 18c.-19c. gimcrack also could mean "person who has a turn for mechanical contrivances."ETD gimcrack (n.).2

    gimlet (n.)

    type of boring tool, mid-14c., gymbelette, from Anglo-French and Old French guimbelet, guibelet (12c., Modern French gibelet), which is probably of Germanic origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch wimmelkijn (with substitute of French diminutive suffix), diminutive of wimmel "auger, drill," which is perhaps from a nasalized form of PIE root *weip- "to turn" on the notion of "That which turns in boring." Middle English also had wimble in the same sense (mid-13c.), probably from an Old North French form of the same word.ETD gimlet (n.).2

    As the name of a cocktail made with gin or vodka and (Rose's) lime juice, by 1927, apparently originally nautical, presumably from its "penetrating" effects on the drinker (a gimlet was the tool used to tap casks). There also was a British Navy surgeon named Gimlette at the turn of the 20th century who was active in health matters. Popularized in the U.S. during prohibition as being quick and easy to mix, and the lime masked the scent.ETD gimlet (n.).3

    gimme (v.)

    by 1828, representing the colloquial contraction of give me. To have the gimmes "be eagerly greedy" is from 1918; gimme cap attested by 1978. Middle English had yemme, gemme, contractions of yeve me (Middle English form of give me).ETD gimme (v.).2

    gimmick (n.)

    1910, American English, perhaps an alteration of gimcrack, or an anagram of magic.ETD gimmick (n.).2

    gimmicky (adj.)

    1948, from gimmick + -y (2).ETD gimmicky (adj.).2

    gimmickry (n.)

    also gimmickery, by 1950, from gimmick + -ry.ETD gimmickry (n.).2

    gimp (n.1)

    1925, "a crippled leg," also "a crippled person" (1929), perhaps by association with limp, or a corruption of gammy (see game (adj.)).ETD gimp (n.1).2

    gimp (n.2)

    also gymp, ornamental material for trimming dresses, furniture, etc., 1660s, probably from French guimpe, Old French guimple "wimple, headdress, veil" (12c.), from Frankish *wimpil- or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German wimpal, and see wimple).ETD gimp (n.2).2


    1925 as a noun, "lame person;" 1931 as an adjective, "lame, crippled," hobo slang, from gimp (n.1) + -y (3) and (2).ETD gimpy.2

    gin (n.1)

    type of distilled drinking alcohol, 1714, shortening of geneva, altered (by influence of the name of the Swiss city, with which it has no connection) from Dutch genever "gin," literally "juniper" (because the alcohol was flavored with its berries), from Old French genevre "the plant juniper" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *jeniperus, from Latin juniperus "juniper" (see juniper).ETD gin (n.1).2

    Gin and tonic is attested by 1873; gin-sling by 1790; gin-fizz (with lemon juice and aerated water) is from 1878. Gin-mill, U.S. slang for "low-class tavern or saloon where spirits are drunk" (1872) might be a play on the senses from gin (n.2). British gin-palace "gaudily decorated tavern or saloon where spirits are drunk" is from 1831.ETD gin (n.1).3

    The card game gin rummy first attested 1941 (described in "Life" that year as the latest Hollywood fad); OED lists it with the entries for the liquor, but the sense connection seems obscure other than as a play on rummy.ETD gin (n.1).4

    gin (n.2)

    "machine for separating cotton from seeds," 1796, American English, used earlier of other machineries, especially of war or torture, from Middle English gin "ingenious device, contrivance" (c. 1200), from Old French gin "machine, device, scheme," shortened form of engin (see engine). The verb in this sense is recorded from 1789. Related: Ginned; ginning. Middle English had ginful "ingenious, crafty; guileful, treacherous" (c. 1300).ETD gin (n.2).2

    gin (v.1)

    in slang phrase gin up "enliven, make more exciting," 1887 (ginning is from 1825), perhaps a special use of the verb associated with gin (n.2) "engine," but perhaps rather or also from to ginger (1797), which is from ginger in sense of "spice, pizzazz;" specifically in reference to the treatment described in the 1796 edition of Grose's slang dictionary under the entry for feague:ETD gin (v.1).2

    gin (v.2)

    "to begin," c. 1200, ginnen, shortened form of beginnen (see begin).ETD gin (v.2).2

    ginger (n.)

    11c., from Old English ginȝifer, ginȝiber, from Late Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from srngam "horn" + vera- "body," so called from the shape of its root. But this may be Sanskrit folk etymology, and the word may be from an ancient Dravidian word that also produced the modern name for the spice, inchi-ver (inchi "ginger", ver "root").ETD ginger (n.).2

    The word apparently was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (12c., Modern French gingembre). In reference to coloring, by 1785 of fighting cocks, 1885 of persons (gingery with reference to hair is from 1852). The meaning "spirit, spunk, temper" is from 1843, American English (see gin (v.1)).ETD ginger (n.).3

    Ginger-ale is recorded by 1822, the term adopted by manufacturers to distinguish their product from ginger beer (1809), which was sometimes fermented. Ginger-snap as a type of hard cookie flavored with ginger is by 1855, American English.ETD ginger (n.).4

    gingerbread (n.)

    late 13c., gingerbrar, "preserved ginger," from Old French ginginbrat "ginger preserve," from Medieval Latin gingimbratus "gingered," from gingiber (see ginger). The ending changed by folk etymology to -brede "bread," a formation attested by mid-14c. Meaning "sweet cake spiced with ginger" is from 15c. Figurative use, indicating anything considered showy and insubstantial, is from c. 1600. Sense of "fussy decoration on a house" is first recorded 1757; gingerbread-work (1748) was a sailor's term for carved decoration on a ship. Gingerbread-man as a confection is from 1850; the rhyme ("The Chase of the Gingerbread Man," by Ella M. White) is from 1898.ETD gingerbread (n.).2

    gingerly (adv.)

    "extremely cautiously" (of movements, etc.), c. 1600; earlier "elegantly, daintily" (1510s), of unknown origin. Perhaps [OED] from Old French gensor, comparative of gent "dainty, delicate," from Latin gentius "(well)-born" (see gentle).ETD gingerly (adv.).2

    gingham (n.)

    cotton fabric woven of plain dyed yarns, 1610s, from Dutch gingang, a traders' rendering of a Malay (Austronesian) word said to be ginggang, meaning "striped" [OED], or else "perishable, fading" [Century Dictionary], used as a noun with the sense of "striped cotton." Also from the same source are French guingan (18c.), Spanish guinga, Italian gingano, German gingang.ETD gingham (n.).2

    gingivitis (n.)

    1874, from Latin gingivae "the gums" (of unknown origin) + -itis "inflammation."ETD gingivitis (n.).2

    gingival (adj.)

    1660s, from Latin gingivae "the gums" (of unknown origin) + -al (1).ETD gingival (adj.).2

    gink (n.)

    "a fellow, man," American English slang, 1910, of unknown origin.ETD gink (n.).2

    ginkgo (n.)

    1773, from Japanese ginkyo, from Chinese yin-hing, from yin "silver" + hing "apricot" (Sino-Japanese kyo). Introduced to New World 1784 by William Hamilton in his garden near Philadelphia; also formerly known as the maidenhair-tree (1773), from resemblance of the tree's leaves to the maidenhair fern (late 14c.).ETD ginkgo (n.).2

    Ginnie Mae

    1970, fleshed out in the form of a fem. proper name, from GNMA, acronym of Government National Mortgage Association.ETD Ginnie Mae.2

    ginormous (adj.)

    by 1948, perhaps 1942, apparently originally a World War II military colloquialism, from a merger of gigantic + enormous.ETD ginormous (adj.).2

    ginseng (n.)

    type of plant whose root is highly valued as a tonic and stimulant in Chinese herbology, 1650s, from Chinese jen-shen. First element means "man," but the meaning of the second is obscure.ETD ginseng (n.).2


    La Gioconda, name of the da Vinci painting also known as the Mona Lisa (q.v.), from Italian Gioconda, fem. of Giocondo, the surname of her husband (Francesco del Giocondo); the name is from Late Latin jocundus, literally "pleasing, pleasant" (see jocund). Hence the French name of the painting, La Joconde.ETD Gioconda.2


    attested from 1840 as an abbreviation of gipsy (also see gypsy). Also see gyp. Related: Gipped; gipping.ETD gip.2


    alternative spelling of Gypsy. OED gives it precedence, and it is the main form for the word's entry in Century Dictionary, but Fowler writes that "the first y is highly significant, reminding us that Gypsy means Egyptian ...."ETD Gipsy.2

    giraffe (n.)

    long-necked ruminant animal of Africa, 1590s, giraffa, from Italian giraffa, from Arabic zarafa, probably from an African language. Earlier Middle English spellings varied wildly, depending on the foreign source, and included jarraf, ziraph, and gerfauntz, some apparently directly from Arabic, the last reflecting some confusion with olifaunt "elephant."ETD giraffe (n.).2

    The modern form of the English word is attested by c. 1600 and is via French girafe (13c.). Replaced earlier camelopard (from Latin camelopardalis), which was the basis form the name of the "giraffe" constellation Camelopardalis, among those added to the map 1590s by Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius.ETD giraffe (n.).3

    girandole (n.)

    1630s, a type of fireworks; 1769 as a branched holder for candles; 1825 as a type of earring or pendant, from French girandole, from Italian girandola, diminutive of giranda "a revolving jet," from Latin gyrandus, gerundive of gyrare "to turn round in a circle, revolve" (see gyration). Also in English in the Italian form.ETD girandole (n.).2

    girasole (n.)

    1580s, "a sunflower," also the name of a type of opal, from Italian girasole "sunflower," literally "turning toward the sun," from girare "to rotate" (see gyre (n.)) + sole (from PIE root *sawel- "the sun").ETD girasole (n.).2

    gird (v.)

    Old English gyrdan "put a belt or girdle around; encircle; bind with flexible material; invest with attributes," from Proto-Germanic *gurdjan (source also of Old Norse gyrða, Old Saxon gurdian, Old Frisian gerda, Dutch gorden, Old High German gurtan, German gürten), from PIE *ghr-dh-, suffixed form of root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose." Related: Girded; girding.ETD gird (v.).2

    As in to gird oneself "tighten the belt and tuck up loose garments to free the body in preparation for a task or journey."ETD gird (v.).3

    girder (n.)

    "main supporting wooden beam that carries flooring," 1610s, agent noun from gird, on notion of something that "holds up" something else. Used of iron bridge supports from 1853.ETD girder (n.).2

    girdle (n.)

    Old English gyrdel "belt, sash, cord drawn about the waist and fastened," worn by both men and women, common Germanic (cognates: Old Norse gyrðill, Swedish gördel, Old Frisian gerdel, Dutch gordel, Old High German gurtil, German Gürtel "belt"), related to Old English gyrdan "to gird," from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose" with instrumental suffix -el (1). Modern euphemistic sense of "elastic corset not extending above the waist" first recorded 1925. Originally a belt to secure the clothes, also for carrying a purse, a weapon, keys, etc.ETD girdle (n.).2

    girdle (v.)

    "encircle with a girdle," 1580s, from girdle (n.). Meaning "to cut off a belt of bark around a trunk to kill a tree" is from 1660s, especially in North America. Related: Girdled; girdling.ETD girdle (v.).2

    girl (n.)

    c. 1300, gyrle "child, young person" (of either sex but most frequently of females), of unknown origin. One guess [OED] leans toward an unrecorded Old English *gyrele, from Proto-Germanic *gurwilon-, diminutive of *gurwjoz (apparently also represented by Low German gære "boy, girl," Norwegian dialectal gorre, Swedish dialectal gurre "small child," though the exact relationship, if any, between all these is obscure), from PIE *ghwrgh-, also found in Greek parthenos "virgin." But this involves some objectionable philology. Liberman (2008) writes:ETD girl (n.).2

    Another candidate is Old English gierela "garment" (for possible sense evolution in this theory, compare brat). A former folk-etymology derivation from Latin garrulus "chattering, talkative" is now discarded. Like boy, lass, lad it is of more or less obscure origin. "Probably most of them arose as jocular transferred uses of words that had originally different meaning" [OED]. Specific meaning of "female child" is late 14c. Applied to "any young unmarried woman" since mid-15c. Meaning "sweetheart" is from 1640s. Old girl in reference to a woman of any age is recorded from 1826. Girl next door as a type of unflashy attractiveness is recorded by 1953 (the title of a 20th Century Fox film starring June Haver).ETD girl (n.).3

    Girl Friday "resourceful young woman assistant" is from 1940, a reference to "Robinson Crusoe." Girl Scout is from 1909. For the usual Old English word, see maiden.ETD girl (n.).4

    girlfriend (n.)

    also girl-friend, by 1859 as "a woman's female friend in youth," from girl + friend (n.). As a man's sweetheart, by 1922. She-friend was used 17c. in the same set of senses, of the mistress of a man and of a woman who is a close friend of another.ETD girlfriend (n.).2

    girlhood (n.)

    1785, from girl + -hood.ETD girlhood (n.).2

    girlie (adj.)

    "meant to titillate men, featuring attractive women scantily clad or nude," by 1936; see girl + -y (2). Girlie (n.) was used by 1921 in a slang sense of "bimbo, floozie."ETD girlie (adj.).2

    girly (n.)

    "little girl," 1839, girlie; 1824, gurlie (in Scottish dialect), from girl + -y (3). Early uses in all spellings suggest it was regarded as a Scottish word. Another diminutive was girleen (1836) with an Irish ending.ETD girly (n.).2

    girly (adj.)

    "girl-like," 1866, from girl + -y (2). Reduplicated form girly-girly (adj.) is recorded from 1883; as a noun from 1882.ETD girly (adj.).2

    girlish (adj.)

    1560s, "like or befitting a girl," from girl + -ish. Related: Girlishly; girlishness.ETD girlish (adj.).2

    Girondist (n.)

    1795, member of the moderate republican party of France, 1791-93, from Gironde, name of a department in southwestern France; the faction so called because its leaders were deputies elected from there.ETD Girondist (n.).2

    girt (v.)

    c. 1400 as alternative form of gird; also past tense and past participle of gird.ETD girt (v.).2

    girth (n.)

    c. 1300, "belt around a horse's body," from Old Norse gjorð "girdle, belt, hoop," from Proto-Germanic *gertu- (cf Gothic gairda "girdle"), from the same source as girdle and gird. Sense of "measurement around an object" first recorded 1640s.ETD girth (n.).2

    gist (n.)

    1711, "the real point" (of a law case, etc.), from Anglo-French legalese phrases such as cest action gist "this action lies," from Old French gist en "it consists in, it lies in," from gist (Modern French gît), third person singular present indicative of gésir "to lie," from Latin iacet "it lies," from iacēre "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Extended sense of "essence" first recorded 1823.ETD gist (n.).2

    git (n.)

    "worthless person," 1946, British slang, a southern variant of Scottish get "illegitimate child, brat," which is attested by 1706 ("Gregor Burgess protested against the said Allane that called him a witch gyt or bratt"), according to "Dictionaries of the Scots Languages"); related to beget on the notion of "what is got." Scots get, gyt, geitt, etc. also can be an affectionate term for a child.ETD git (n.).2

    Gitano (n.)

    "gypsy," 1834, from Spanish Gitano (fem. Gitana), from Vulgar Latin *Ægyptanus "Egyptian" (see Gypsy). The fem. is gitana. The French form of the feminine, gitane, was used as the name of a brand of cigarettes (1933) and has come to be used for French cigarettes generally.ETD Gitano (n.).2

    gittern (n.)

    old wire-strung instrument like a guitar, late 14c., from Old French guiterne, obscurely from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara (see guitar).ETD gittern (n.).2

    give (n.)

    "capacity for yielding to pressure," 1868, from give (v.). The Middle English noun yeve, meant "that which is given or offered; a contribution of money," often as tribute, or in expectation of something in return.ETD give (n.).2

    give (v.)

    Old English giefan (West Saxon) "to give, bestow, deliver to another; allot, grant; commit, devote, entrust," class V strong verb (past tense geaf, past participle giefen), from Proto-Germanic *geban (source also of Old Frisian jeva, Middle Dutch gheven, Dutch geven, Old High German geban, German geben, Gothic giban), from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive." It became yiven in Middle English, but changed to guttural "g" by influence of Old Norse gefa "to give," Old Danish givæ.ETD give (v.).2

    Meaning "to yield to pressure" is from 1570s. Give in "yield" is from 1610s; give out is mid-14c. as "publish, announce;" meaning "run out, break down" is from 1520s. Give up "surrender, resign, quit" is mid-12c. To give (someone) a cold seems to reflect the old belief that one could be cured of disease by deliberately infecting others. What gives? "what is happening?" is attested from 1940. To not give a (some thing regarded as trivial and valueless) is from c. 1300 (early examples were a straw, a grass, a mite).ETD give (v.).3

    give-and-take (n.)

    1769, originally in horse-racing, referring to races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less; see give (v.) + take (v.). The general sense is attested by 1778. Give and take had been paired in expressions involving mutual exchange from c. 1500.ETD give-and-take (n.).2

    Give or take as an indication of approximation is from 1958.ETD give-and-take (n.).3

    give-away (n.)

    also giveaway, "act of giving away," 1872, from verbal phrase give away, c. 1400 (of brides from 1719); see give (v.) + away (adv.). The phrase in the meaning "to betray, expose, reveal" is from 1878, originally U.S. slang. Hence also Related: give-away (n.) "inadvertent betrayal or revelation" (1882).ETD give-away (n.).2

    given (adj.)

    late 14c., "allotted, predestined," past-participle adjective from give (v.). From 1560s as "admitted, supposed, allowed as a supposition." From late 14c. as "disposed, addicted." Middle English also had a noun give, yeve "that which is given or offered freely." The modern noun sense of "what is given, known facts" is from 1879. Given name (1827) so called because given at baptism.ETD given (adj.).2

    giver (n.)

    mid-14c., from give (v.) + -er (1). Old English agent-noun forms were giefend, giefa.ETD giver (n.).2


    place in Egypt, from Arabic Er-ges-her "beside the high," i.e., the Great Pyramid.ETD Giza.2

    gizmo (n.)

    1942, "Marine and Navy usage for any old thing you can't put a name to" ["Life" magazine, July 30, 1945], of unknown origin, perhaps a made-up word. Compare gadget, thingamajig.ETD gizmo (n.).2

    gizzard (n.)

    "stomach of a bird," late 14c., from Old French gisier "entrails, giblets (of a bird)" (13c., Modern French gésier), probably from Vulgar Latin *gicerium, a dissimilation of Latin gigeria (neuter plural) "cooked entrails of a fowl," a delicacy in ancient Rome, from PIE *yekwr- "liver" (see hepatitis). The unetymological -d was added 1500s (perhaps on analogy of -ard words). Later extended to other animals, and, in jocular use, to human beings (1660s).ETD gizzard (n.).2

    glabella (n.)

    "space between the eyebrows," 1590s, Modern Latin, noun use of fem. of adjective glabellus "without hair, smooth," diminutive of glaber "smooth, bald," from PIE *gladh- "smooth" (see glad) + diminutive word-forming element -ella. As the word for a part of the head of a trilobite, from 1849.ETD glabella (n.).2

    glabrous (adj.)

    1630s, from Latin glaber "hairless, smooth, bald," from PIE *glhdro- "smooth" (compare Old Church Slavonic gladuku, Lithuanian glodus "smooth").ETD glabrous (adj.).2

    glace (adj.)

    "having a smooth, polished surface," as ice does, 1847, from French glacé "iced, glazed," past participle of glacer "to ice, give a gloss to," from glace "ice," from Latin glacies "ice" (probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze").ETD glace (adj.).2

    glacis (n.)

    "sloping bank" (especially leading up to a fortification), 1670s, from French glacir "to freeze, make slippery," from Old French glacier "to slip, glide," from Vulgar Latin *glaciare "to make or turn into ice," from Latin glacies "ice" (probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze").ETD glacis (n.).2

    glacial (adj.)

    1650s, "cold, icy," from French glacial or directly from Latin glacialis "icy, frozen, full of ice," from glacies "ice," probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze" (source also of Latin gelu "frost"). Geological sense "pertaining to glaciers" apparently was coined in 1846 by British naturalist Edward Forbes (1815-1854). Hence figurative sense "at an extremely slow rate," as of the advance of glaciers. Related: Glacially.ETD glacial (adj.).2

    glaciation (n.)

    1640s, "act of freezing," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin glaciare "to freeze," from glacies "ice" (probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze"). Geological sense of "presence of a mass of ice covering a region" is from 1863.ETD glaciation (n.).2

    glaciate (v.)

    1620s, "to freeze;" 1861 in reference to glaciers, from Latin glaciatus, past participle of glaciare "to turn to ice," from glacies "ice" (probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze"). Related: Glaciated; glaciating.ETD glaciate (v.).2

    glacier (n.)

    1744, from French glacier (16c.), from Savoy dialect glacière "moving mass of ice," from Old French glace "ice," from Vulgar Latin *glacia (source also of Old Provençal glassa, Italian ghiaccia), from Latin glacies "ice," probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze." The German Swiss form gletscher also was used in English (1764).ETD glacier (n.).2

    glaciology (n.)

    1856, from Latin glacies "ice" (probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- "cold; to freeze") + -ology. Related: Glaciological; glaciologist.ETD glaciology (n.).2

    gladness (n.)

    Old English glædnes "joy; good nature;" see glad (adj.) + -ness.ETD gladness (n.).2

    glad (adj.)

    Old English glæd "bright, shining, gleaming; joyous; pleasant, gracious" (also as a noun, "joy, gladness"), from Proto-Germanic *gladaz (source also of Old Norse glaðr "smooth, bright, glad," Danish glad "glad, joyful," Old Saxon gladmod, in which the element means "glad," Old Frisian gled "smooth," Dutch glad "slippery," German glatt "smooth"), from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine." Apparently the notion is of being radiant with joy; the modern sense "feeling pleasure or satisfaction" is much weakened. Slang glad rags "one's best clothes" first recorded 1902.ETD glad (adj.).2

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