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    goat (n.) — gonna

    goat (n.)

    Old English gat "she-goat," from Proto-Germanic *gaito (source also of Old Saxon get, Old Norse geit, Danish gjed, Middle Dutch gheet, Dutch geit, Old High German geiz, German Geiß, Gothic gaits "goat"), from PIE *ghaid-o- "young goat," also forming words for "to play" (source also of Latin hædus "kid").ETD goat (n.).2

    The word for "male goat" in Old English was bucca or gatbucca (see buck (n.)) until late 1300s shift to he-goat, she-goat (Nanny goat is 18c., billy goat 19c.). Meaning "licentious man" is attested from 1670s (hence goat-milker, name of a bird formerly believed to suck the milk from goats at night, but also old slang for "a prostitute," also "the female pudendum"). To get (someone's) goat is by 1908, American English, the source of many fanciful explanation stories; perhaps from French prendre sa chèvre "take one's source of milk," or more likely it is "to steal a goat mascot" from a racehorse, warship, fire company, military unit, etc.ETD goat (n.).3

    goatee (n.)

    "pointed tuft of beard on the chin of a shaven face," 1844 (as goaty; current spelling by 1847), from goaty (adj.). So called from its resemblance to a male goat's chin hairs.ETD goatee (n.).2

    goatherd (n.)

    "one whose occupation is the care of goats," early 13c. (as a surname), from or replacing Old English gat-hyrde (West Saxon); see goat + herd (n.).ETD goatherd (n.).2

    goaty (adj.)

    "goat-like," c. 1600, from goat + -y (2).ETD goaty (adj.).2

    goatish (adj.)

    "resembling a goat," especially "stinking" or "lustful," 1520s, from goat + -ish. Related: Goatishly; goatishness.ETD goatish (adj.).2

    goatskin (n.)

    late 14c., from goat + skin (n.).ETD goatskin (n.).2

    gob (n.1)

    "a mouthful, lump," late 14c., from gobbet.ETD gob (n.1).2

    gob (n.2)

    "mouth," 1540s, from Irish gob "mouth," and thus related to the other English noun gob (also see gobbet). Gob-stopper "type of large hard candy" is from 1928.ETD gob (n.2).2

    gobbet (n.)

    late 13c., "a fragment," from Old French gobet "piece, mouthful," diminutive of gobe "mouthful, lump," related to gober "to gulp, swallow down," probably from Gaulish *gobbo- (compare Irish gob "mouth," Gaelic gob "beak").ETD gobbet (n.).2

    gobble (v.2)

    "make a turkey noise," 1670s, probably imitative, perhaps influenced by gobble (v.1) or gargle. As a noun from 1781.ETD gobble (v.2).2

    gobble (v.1)

    "eat greedily, swallow hastily," c. 1600, probably partly echoic, partly frequentative and based on gob (n.1), via gobben "drink something greedily" (early 15c.). Related: Gobbled; gobbling.ETD gobble (v.1).2

    gobbledygook (n.)

    also gobbledegook, "the overinvolved, pompous talk of officialdom" [Klein], 1944, American English, first used by Texas politician Maury Maverick (1895-1954), a grandson of the inspiration for maverick and chairman of U.S. Smaller War Plants Corporation during World War II, in a memo dated March 30, 1944, banning "gobbledygook language" and mock-threateaning, "anyone using the words activation or implementation will be shot." Maverick said he made up the word in imitation of turkey noise. Another word for it, coined about the same time, was bafflegab (1952).ETD gobbledygook (n.).2

    gobbler (n.)

    1737, "turkey-cock," agent noun from gobble (v.2). As "one who eats greedily" 1755, from gobble (v.1).ETD gobbler (n.).2

    go-between (n.)

    "one who passes between parties in a negotiation or intrigue," 1590s, from verbal phrase go between in obsolete sense "act as a mediator" (1540s), from go (v.) + between.ETD go-between (n.).2

    go-by (n.)

    1640s, "an evasion, a leaving behind by artifice," from verbal phrase; see go (v.) + by (adv.). From 1650s as "a passing without notice, intentional disregard." Compare bygone.ETD go-by (n.).2


    desert in central Asia, from Mongolian gobi "desert." Gobi Desert is thus a pleonasm (see Sahara).ETD Gobi.2

    goby (n.)

    kind of fish, 1769, a modern scientific usage, from Latin gobius, from Greek kobios, name of a type of small fish, of unknown origin. Related: Gobiid.ETD goby (n.).2

    goblet (n.)

    large, handle-less, crater-shaped drinking vessel for wine, etc.," late 14c., from Old French gobelet "goblet, cup" (13c.), diminutive of gobel "cup," probably related to gobe "gulp down" (see gob).ETD goblet (n.).2

    goblin (n.)

    early 14c., "a devil, incubus, mischievous and ugly fairy," from Norman French gobelin (12c., as Medieval Latin Gobelinus, the name of a spirit haunting the region of Evreux, in chronicle of Ordericus Vitalis), of uncertain origin; said to be unrelated to German kobold (see cobalt), or from Medieval Latin cabalus, from Greek kobalos "impudent rogue, knave," kobaloi "wicked spirits invoked by rogues," of unknown origin. Another suggestion is that it is a diminutive of the proper name Gobel.ETD goblin (n.).2

    gobo (n.)

    "portable screen or wall to absorb sound or reflect light," 1930, American English, Hollywood movie set slang, of unknown origin, perhaps somehow from go-between.ETD gobo (n.).2

    gobsmacked (adj.)

    also gob-smacked, "flabbergasted, amazed, astounded," literally "smacked in the mouth," by 1936, U.K. slang, from gob (n.2) "mouth" + past participle of smack (v.).ETD gobsmacked (adj.).2

    go-cart (n.)

    also gocart, 1670s, originally "a litter, sedan chair;" also "an infant's walker" (1680s), from go + cart (n.). Later also of hand carts (1759). The modern form go-kart (1959) was coined in reference to a kind of miniature racing car with a frame body and a two-stroke engine.ETD go-cart (n.).2

    god (n.)

    also God; Old English god "supreme being, deity; the Christian God; image of a god; godlike person," from Proto-Germanic *guthan (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch god, Old High German got, German Gott, Old Norse guð, Gothic guþ), which is of uncertain origin; perhaps from PIE *ghut- "that which is invoked" (source also of Old Church Slavonic zovo "to call," Sanskrit huta- "invoked," an epithet of Indra), from root *gheu(e)- "to call, invoke." The notion could be "divine entity summoned to a sacrifice."ETD god (n.).2

    But some trace it to PIE *ghu-to- "poured," from root *gheu- "to pour, pour a libation" (source of Greek khein "to pour," also in the phrase khute gaia "poured earth," referring to a burial mound; see found (v.2)). "Given the Greek facts, the Germanic form may have referred in the first instance to the spirit immanent in a burial mound" [Watkins]. See also Zeus. In either case, not related to good.ETD god (n.).3

    Originally a neuter noun in Germanic, the gender shifted to masculine after the coming of Christianity. Old English god probably was closer in sense to Latin numen. A better word to translate deus might have been Proto-Germanic *ansuz, but this was used only of the highest deities in the Germanic religion, and not of foreign gods, and it was never used of the Christian God. It survives in English mainly in the personal names beginning in Os-.ETD god (n.).4

    God bless you after someone sneezes is credited to St. Gregory the Great, but the pagan Romans (Absit omen) and Greeks had similar customs. God's gift to _____ is by 1931. God of the gaps means "God considered solely as an explanation for anything not otherwise explained by science;" the exact phrase is from 1949, but the words and the idea have been around since 1894. God-forbids was rhyming slang for kids ("children"). God squad "evangelical organization" is 1969 U.S. student slang. God's acre "burial ground" imitates or partially translates German Gottesacker, where the second element means "field;" the phrase dates to 1610s in English but was noted as a Germanism as late as Longfellow.ETD god (n.).5

    god-awful (adj.)

    also godawful, according to OED from 1878 as "impressive," 1897 as "impressively terrible," but it seems not to have been much in print before c. 1924, from God + awful. The God might be an intensifier or the whole might be from the frequent God's awful (vengeance, judgment, etc.), a common phrase in religious literature.ETD god-awful (adj.).2

    godchild (n.)

    "child one sponsors at baptism," c. 1200, "in ref. to the spiritual relation assumed to exist between them" [Century Dictionary], from God + child. The Old English word was godbearnETD godchild (n.).2


    also goddamn, late 14c., "the characteristic national oath of Englishmen" [Century Dictionary]. from God + damn (v.). Goddam (Old French godon, 14c.) was said to have been a term of reproach applied to the English by the French.ETD god-damn.2

    Hence French godan "fraud, deception, humbug" (17c.). Compare Old French godeherre "characteristic exclamation uttered by the Germans," and goditoet, also considered a characteristic exclamation of the English. Goddammes was the nickname given by Puritans to Cavaliers, in consequence of the latter's supposed frequent employment of that oath.ETD god-damn.3

    god-daughter (n.)

    "female godchild, girl one sponsors at her baptism," mid-13c., from god + daughter, modifying or replacing Old English goddohtor.ETD god-daughter (n.).2

    goddess (n.)

    mid-14c., female deity in a polytheistic religion, from god + fem. suffix -esse (see -ess). The Old English word was gyden, corresponding to Dutch godin, German Göttin, Danish gudine, Swedish gudinna. Of mortal women by 1570s. Related: Goddesshood.ETD goddess (n.).2

    goddot (interj.)

    "certainly, surely," c. 1300, corruption of God wot "God knows."ETD goddot (interj.).2

    godfather (n.)

    man who sponsors one at baptism and guarantees the child's religious education, late 12c., from God + father (n.), modifying or replacing Old English godfaeder. In the Mafia sense from 1963 in English; popularized by Mario Puzo's novel (1969) and the movie based on it (1972).ETD godfather (n.).2

    God-fearing (adj.)

    "reverencing and obeying God," 1759, from God + fearing, present-participle adjective from fear (v.). Old English in the same sense had godfyrht.ETD God-fearing (adj.).2

    godforsaken (adj.)

    also god-forsaken, God-forsaken, "forlorn, desolate, miserable," 1816, from God + forsaken.ETD godforsaken (adj.).2


    masc. proper name, from Old French Godefrei (Modern French Godefroi), from Old High German Godafrid (German Gottfried), literally "the peace of God," from Old High German got "God" (see god) + fridu "peace" (from Proto-Germanic *frithu- "peace," from suffixed form of PIE root *pri- "to love"). In early 20c., the name sometimes was used as a slang euphemism for "God."ETD Godfrey.2

    godhead (n.)

    c. 1200, "divine nature, deity, divinity," from god + Middle English -hede (see -head). Along with maidenhead, the sole survival of this form of the suffix. Old English had godhad "divine nature." Parallel form godhood is from early 13c., now chiefly restricted to "state or condition of being a god."ETD godhead (n.).2

    Godism (n.)

    contemptuous term for "belief in God," 1891, from God + -ism.ETD Godism (n.).2


    Lady of Coventry (died 1067) and wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. Her legend is first recorded by Roger of Wendover 100 years after her death. The "Peeping Tom" aspect was added by 1659. The name is a typical Anglo-Saxon compound, apparently *God-gifu "good gift."ETD Godiva.2

    godless (adj.)

    1520s, from God + -less. Similar formation in Dutch goddeloos, German gottlos, Swedish gudlös, Gothic gudalaus. Related: Godlessness. Phrase godless communism attested by 1851; The Godless (Russian bezbozhnik) was the name of an organization for the suppression of religion in the Soviet Union.ETD godless (adj.).2

    godly (adj.)

    late 14c., from god + -ly (1). Perhaps earlier, but due to identical spelling in Middle English it is difficult to distinguish from goodly. Related: Godlily.ETD godly (adj.).2

    godliness (n.)

    1530s, from godly + -ness.ETD godliness (n.).2

    godlike (adj.)

    1510s, from god + like (adj.). Absent in Middle English; Old English had godlic "godlike, divine."ETD godlike (adj.).2

    godmother (n.)

    woman who sponsors one at baptism, late 13c., from God + mother (n.1); modifying or replacing Old English godmodor.ETD godmother (n.).2

    go down (v.)

    c. 1300, "droop, descend," from go (v.) + down (adv.). Meaning "decline, fail" is from 1590s. Sense of "to happen" is from 1946, American-English slang. Go down on "perform oral sex on" is from 1916.ETD go down (v.).2

    godparent (n.)

    also God-parent, 1865; see God + parent (n.).ETD godparent (n.).2

    godsend (n.)

    "unlooked-for acquisition or good fortune," 1812, earlier "a shipwreck" (from the perspective of people living along the coast), by 1806, from Middle English Godes sonde (c. 1200) "God's messenger; what God sends, gift from God, happening caused by God," from God + send (n.) "a message, a message," literally "that which is sent," from Middle English sonde, from Old English sand, the noun associated with sendan (see send (v.)). The spelling was conformed to the verb in later Middle English.ETD godsend (n.).2

    godson (n.)

    "male child one sponsors at baptism," c. 1200, from God + son, replacing or modifying Old English godsunu.ETD godson (n.).2

    godspeed (interj.)

    also God speed, by late 14c., "(I wish that) God (may) grant you success," from God + speed (v.) in its old sense of "prosper, grow rich, succeed." Specifically as a salutation by mid-15c. Also in Middle English as an adverb, "quickly, speedily" (early 14c.); the then-identically spelled God and good seem to be mixed up in this word. From late 13c. as a surname. He may bidde god me spede is found in a text from c. 1300.ETD godspeed (interj.).2

    Godward (adv.)

    also God-ward, "toward God," late 14c., from God + -ward.ETD Godward (adv.).2


    third person singular of go, Old English gaæs (Northumbrian), displacing alternative goeth (Old English gaeþ) except in archaic and liturgical use. Who goes there? as a sentry's challenge is from 1590s. Expression anything goes "there are no rules or limits" is from 1921; earlier everything goes (1879). That goes without saying (1878) translates French cela va sans dire.ETD goes.2

    goer (n.)

    late 14c., "one who goes on foot, a walker," agent noun of go (v.). From mid-13c. as a surname. Of a horse, especially of one that goes fast (1690s); hence transferred use, of persons, "one who lives loosely" (c. 1810).ETD goer (n.).2

    goetia (n.)

    type of magical practice, 1560s, via Medieval Latin goetia or directly from Greek goēteia, from goēs, goētos "sorcerer, enchanter; charlatan," which is probably connected to goaō "to groan, weep." In early use often contrasted with theurgia (see theurgy.) As a synonym for "black magic, necromancy, witchcraft," 1570s. As the title of a book containing a list of demons, by 1650s. The primary modern sense "magic derived from the book Goetia or related texts" seems to originate circa 1910 in publications by Arthur Edward Waite.ETD goetia (n.).2

    The ancient Greek goeteia refers to magic in senses which align to the modern meaning of "magic" encompassing supernatural phenomenon, bewitchment and charms in both literal and metaphoric senses, and stage trickery. Plato and Dinarchus both use the term around 4c. B.C.E.ETD goetia (n.).3

    The connection to goaō "to groan, weep" is suggested by 10c. in Suda, a sort of early encyclopedia written in Byzantine Greek, via the notion of contact with spirits of the dead, "whence [the word] is derived from the wailing [go/oi] and lamentations which are made at burials." Beekes is willing to entertain this connection but implies some uncertainty.ETD goetia (n.).4

    Sometimes formerly Englished as goety, goetie. Related: Goetic (1630s); goetical (1650s), in reference to magical practices derived from goetia. A practitioner of goetic ritual was a goetian (1650s).ETD goetia (n.).5

    gofer (n.2)

    "errand-runner," 1956, American English coinage from verbal phrase go for (coffee, spare parts, etc.), with a pun on gopher. Gopher also was late 19c. slang for a young thief, especially one who breaks in through small openings.ETD gofer (n.2).2

    gofer (n.1)

    "thin cake or waffle with a honeycomb pattern," 1769, from French gaufre, literally "honeycomb" (see wafer (n.)).ETD gofer (n.1).2

    go for (v.)

    1550s, "be taken or regarded as," also "be in favor of," from go (v.) + for (adv.). Meaning "attack, assail" is from 1880. Go for broke is from 1951, American English colloquial.ETD go for (v.).2

    go-getter (n.)

    1910, American English, from go + agent noun from get (v.). Goer, with essentially the same meaning, is attested from late 14c.ETD go-getter (n.).2

    goggle (v.)

    1530s, from Middle English gogelen "to roll (the eyes) about" (late 14c.), influenced by Middle English gogel-eyed "squint-eyed," also, due to being used incorrectly in a translation from Latin, "one-eyed" (late 14c.), of uncertain origin. It has been suggested that it is a frequentative verb from Celtic (compare Irish and Gaelic gog "a nod, a slight motion," Irish gogaim "I nod, gesticulate," but some consider these to be from English. Perhaps somehow imitative. As a surname (Robert le Gogel) from c. 1300. Related: Goggled; goggling. As a noun, 1650s, "goggling look;" earlier "person who goggles" (1610s).ETD goggle (v.).2

    goggles (n.)

    "spectacles, protective eyeglasses," 1715; see goggle.ETD goggles (n.).2

    goggle-eyed (adj.)

    late 14c., gogel-eied, "squinting; one-eyed," as a noun, "one who squints;" see goggle (v.) + -eyed.ETD goggle-eyed (adj.).2

    go-go (adj.)

    1964, "fashionable," from slang adjective go "fashionable" (1962); see go (n.). First appearance of go-go dancer is from 1965.ETD go-go (adj.).2

    goy (n.)

    "a gentile, a non-Jew" (plural goyim), 1835, from Hebrew goy "people, nation;" in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew, also "gentile" (compare gentile). The fem. form of the Hebrew word entered French as gouge "a wench" (15c.).ETD goy (n.).2

    Goidelic (adj.)

    "pertaining to the branch of Celtic languages that includes Irish, Gaelic, and Manx," 1875, from Old Irish Goidel "Gael" (see Gael).ETD Goidelic (adj.).2

    going-over (n.)

    1872 as "scolding;" 1919 as "inspection;" from verbal phrase; see going + over (adv.).ETD going-over (n.).2

    go-it-alone (adj.)

    attested by 1953 (in reference to U.S. foreign policy proposals), from an American English verbal phrase attested by 1842 and meaning "do anything without assistance." Go it as colloquial for "to act" (especially in a determined or vigorous way) is from 1825; hence also American English go it blind (1842) in reference to something done without regard for consequences.ETD go-it-alone (adj.).2

    goiter (n.)

    "morbid enlargement of the thyroid gland," 1620s, from French goitre (16c.), from Rhône dialect, from Old Provençal goitron "throat, gullet," from Vulgar Latin *gutturiosum or *gutturionem, from Latin guttur "throat" (see guttural). Related: Goitrous.ETD goiter (n.).2

    goitre (n.)

    alternative spelling of goiter.ETD goitre (n.).2

    gold (n.)

    "precious metal noted for its color, luster, malleability, and freedom from rust or tarnish," Old English gold, from Proto-Germanic *gulthan "gold" (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German gold, German Gold, Middle Dutch gout, Dutch goud, Old Norse gull, Danish guld, Gothic gulþ), from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting gold (the "bright" metal).ETD gold (n.).2

    The root is the general Indo-European one for "gold," found in Germanic, Balto-Slavic (compare Old Church Slavonic zlato, Russian zoloto, "gold"), and Indo-Iranian. Finnish kulta is from German; Hungarian izlot is from Slavic. For Latin aurum see aureate. Greek khrysos probably is from Semitic.ETD gold (n.).3

    From Homer on through Middle English, "red" often is given as a characteristic color of pure gold or objects made from it. This seems puzzling, but it might stem from an ancient practice of testing the purity of gold by heating it; in Middle English red gold was "pure gold" (c. 1200).ETD gold (n.).4

    gold (adj.)

    c. 1200, from gold (n.); compare golden. In reference to the color of the metal, it is recorded from c. 1400. Gold rush is attested from 1859, originally in an Australian context. Gold medal as first prize is from 1757. Gold record, a framed, gold phonograph record to commemorate a certain level of sales, is from 1948.ETD gold (adj.).2

    goldarn (adj.)

    1832, American English, euphemistic deformation of God-damn.ETD goldarn (adj.).2

    gold-brick (n.)

    "gold in the form of a brick," 1853, from gold (adj.) + brick (n.). Meaning "shirker" is from 1914, World War I armed forces slang, from earlier verb meaning "to swindle, cheat" (1902) from the old con game of selling spurious "gold" bricks (attested by 1881).ETD gold-brick (n.).2

    gold-digger (n.)

    1816, "one who seeks gold in the ground or a stream bed," from gold (n.) + digger. As "woman who pursues men for their money," first recorded 1915.ETD gold-digger (n.).2

    gold-dust (n.)

    1703, from gold (n.) + dust (n.).ETD gold-dust (n.).2

    golden (adj.)

    c. 1300, "made of gold," from gold (n.) + -en (2); replacing Middle English gilden, from Old English gyldan. Gold is one of the few Modern English nouns that form adjectives meaning "made of ______" by adding -en (as in wooden, leaden, waxen, olden); those that survive often do so in specialized senses. Old English also had silfren "made of silver," stænen "made of stone," etc.ETD golden (adj.).2

    From late 14c. as "of the color of gold." Figurative sense of "excellent, precious, best, most valuable" is from late 14c.; that of "favorable, auspicious" is from c. 1600. Golden mean "avoidance of excess" translates Latin aurea mediocritas (Horace). Golden age "period of past perfection" is from 1550s, from a concept found in Greek and Latin writers; in sense of "old age" it is recorded from 1961. San Francisco Bay's entrance channel was called the Golden Gate by John C. Fremont (1866). The moralistic golden rule earlier was the golden law (1670s).ETD golden (adj.).3

    goldenrod (n.)

    1560s, from golden + rod (n.). So called for its yellow heads.ETD goldenrod (n.).2

    goldfinch (n.)

    Old English goldfinc; see gold (adj.) + finch. So called for its yellow wing markings. Compare German Goldfink.ETD goldfinch (n.).2

    goldfish (n.)

    1690s, from gold (adj.) + fish (n.). The fish were introduced into England from China, where they are native. A type of carp, they are naturally a dull olive color; the rich colors (also red, black, silver) are obtained by selective breeding. Goldfish bowl, figurative of a situation of no privacy, was in use by 1935.ETD goldfish (n.).2

    Goldilocks (n.)

    name for a person with bright yellow hair, 1540s, from goldy (adj.) "of a golden color" (mid-15c., from gold (n.)) + plural of lock (n.2). The story of the Three Bears first was printed in Robert Southey's miscellany "The Doctor" (1837), but the central figure there was a bad-tempered old woman. Southey did not claim to have invented the story, and older versions have been traced, either involving an old woman or a "silver-haired" girl (though in at least one version it is a fox who enters the house). The identification of the girl as Goldilocks is attested from c. 1875. Goldylocks also is attested from 1570s as a name for the buttercup.ETD Goldilocks (n.).2

    gold-leaf (n.)

    1727, from gold (n.) + leaf (n.).ETD gold-leaf (n.).2

    gold-mine (n.)

    late 15c., "place where gold is dug out of the earth," from gold (n.) + mine (n.). Figurative use "anything productive of great wealth" is by 1882.ETD gold-mine (n.).2

    goldsmith (n.)

    "artisan who works in gold," Old English goldsmið, from gold (n.) + smith (n.). Similar formation in Dutch goudsmid, German Goldschmeid, Danish guldsmed.ETD goldsmith (n.).2

    Goldwynism (n.)

    1937, in reference to the many humorous contradictory remarks credited to U.S. film producer Samuel G. Goldwyn (1882-1974); the best-known, arguably, being "include me out."ETD Goldwynism (n.).2

    Goldwyn is perhaps less popular as the originator of such phrases in American English than baseball player Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (1925-2015), but there doesn't seem to be a noun form based on Berra's name in popular use. Ringo Starr ("Hard Days Night") also was discovered to have the talent. Also see bull (n.3). Also compare spoonerism, malapropism, marrowsky. The surname typically represents Old English goldwyn, literally "gold-friend."ETD Goldwynism (n.).3

    golem (n.)

    "artificial man, automaton," 1897, from Hebrew golem [Psalm cxxxix.16] "shapeless mass, embryo," from galam "he wrapped up, folded."ETD golem (n.).2

    golf (n.)

    mid-15c., Scottish gouf, usually taken as an alteration of Middle Dutch colf, colve "stick, club, bat," from Proto-Germanic *kulth- (source also of Old Norse kolfr "clapper of a bell," German Kolben "mace, club, butt-end of a gun"). The game is from 14c., the word is first mentioned (along with fut-bol) in a 1457 Scottish statute on forbidden games (a later ordinance decrees, "That in na place of the realme thair be vsit fut-ballis, golf, or vther sic unprofitabill sportis" [Acts James IV, 1491, c.53]). Despite what you read on the internet, "golf" is not an acronym (this story seems to date back no earlier than 1997). Golf ball attested from 1540s; the motorized golf-cart from 1951. Golf widow is from 1890.ETD golf (n.).2

    golf (v.)

    c. 1800, from golf (n.). Related: Golfed; golfing.ETD golf (v.).2

    golfer (n.)

    1721, agent noun from golf.ETD golfer (n.).2


    hill near Jerusalem where Christ was crucified, via Latin and Greek, from Aramaic (Semitic) gulgulta, literally "(place of the) skull," cognate with Hebrew gulgoleth "skull." The hill so called for its shape (see Calvary).ETD Golgotha.2

    goliath (n.)

    "a giant," 1590s, from Late Latin Goliath, from Hebrew Golyath, name of the Philistine giant slain by David (I Samuel xvii). As a type of beetle from 1826.ETD goliath (n.).2

    golly (interj.)

    euphemism for God, by 1775, in Gilbert White's journal; he refers to it as "a sort of jolly kind of oath, or asseveration much in use among our carters, & the lowest people."ETD golly (interj.).2

    golliwog (n.)

    type of grotesque blackface doll, 1895, coined by English children's book author and illustrator Florence K. Upton, perhaps from golly + polliwog.ETD golliwog (n.).2


    Biblical site, from Hebrew 'omer "sheaf" (of corn, etc.), probably a reference to the fertility of the region. Related: Gomorrean.ETD Gomorrah.2


    word-forming element meaning "angle, corner," from Greek gōnia "corner, angle," from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle."ETD -gon.2

    gonad (n.)

    1880, from Modern Latin gonas (plural gonades), coined from Greek gone, gonos "child, offspring; seed, that which engenders; birth, childbirth; race, stock, family," related to gignesthai "be born," genos "race, birth, descent," from PIE *gon-o-, suffixed form of root *gene- "give birth, beget." Related: gonads; gonadal.ETD gonad (n.).2


    imaginary land invented by the Brontë sisters, also the name of its inhabitants.ETD Gondal.2

    gondola (n.)

    1540s, "long, narrow flat-bottomed boat used in Venice," from Italian (Venetian) gondola, earlier in English as goundel, from Old Italian gondula, of unknown origin; according to Barnhart, perhaps a diminutive of gonda, a name of a kind of boat. Used of flat, open railway cars by 1871. Meaning "cabin of an airship" is from 1896, though it was used hypothetically in 1881 in a futurism piece titled "300 Years Hence." Of ski-lifts from 1957.ETD gondola (n.).2

    gondolier (n.)

    c. 1600, from French gondolier and directly from Italian gondoliere, agent noun from gondola (see gondola).ETD gondolier (n.).2


    name of a region in north central India, from Sanskrit gondavana, from vana "forest" + Gonda, Sanskrit name of a Dravidian people, said to mean literally "fleshy navel, outie belly-button."ETD Gondwana.2

    The name was extended by geologists to a series of sedimentary rocks found there (1873), then to identical rocks in other places. Because the fossils found in this series were used by geologists to reconstruct the map of the supercontinent which broke up into the modern southern continents of the globe about 180 million years ago, this was called Gondwanaland (1896), from German, where it was coined by German geologist Eduard Suess in 1885.ETD Gondwana.3

    gone (adj.)

    "hopeless, beyond recovery," 1590s, past-participle adjective from go (v.). In jazz slang as a superlative from 1946.ETD gone (adj.).2

    goner (n.)

    "something dead or about to die, person past recovery, one who is done for in any way," 1836, American English colloquial, from gone + -er (1). From earlier expressions such as gone goose (1830), gone coon, etc.ETD goner (n.).2

    gonfalon (n.)

    1590s, variant of Middle English gonfanon (c. 1300), from Old French gonfanon "knight's pennon" (12c., Modern French gonfalon), from Frankish *gundfano or Old High German guntfano "battle flag," from a Proto-Germanic compound of *gunthjo "war, battle" (from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill;" see bane) + *fano "banner" (compare Gothic fana "cloth;" see fane). Cognate with Old English guþfana, Old Norse gunnfani. Change of -n- to -l- by dissimilation.ETD gonfalon (n.).2

    gong (n.)

    c. 1600, from Malay (Austronesian) gong, which is probably imitative of its sound when struck. As a verb by 1853. Related: Gonged; gonging.ETD gong (n.).2

    gony (n.)

    1580s, "simpleton, stupid person," of unknown origin. Applied by sailors to the albatross and similar big, clumsy birds (1839). Related: Gony-bird.ETD gony (n.).2

    goniometer (n.)

    instrument for measuring solid angles, 1766, from Greek gōnia "corner, angle" (from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle") + -meter. Related: Goniometry.ETD goniometer (n.).2


    attempt to represent the casual pronunciation of going to. In Scottish dialect, ganna, gaunna recorded from 1806.ETD gonna.2

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