Death (Etymology)

death (n.)
O.E. deað “death, dying, cause of death,” in plura, “ghosts,” from P.Gmc. *dauthaz (cf. O.S. doth, O.Fris. dath, Du. dood, O.H.G. tod, Ger. Tod, O.N. dauði, Dan. død, Swed. död, Goth. dauþas “death”), from verbal stem *dheu- (3) “to die” (see die (v.)) + *-thuz suffix indicating “act, process, condition.”

Death’s-head, a symbol of mortality, is from 1590s. Death row first recorded 1940s. Death knell is attested from 1814; death penalty from 1875; death rate from 1859. Slang be death on “be very good at” is from 1839. Death wish first recorded 1896. The death-watch beetle (1660s) inhabits houses, makes a ticking noise like a watch, and is superstitiously supposed to portend death.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: