giraffeyoudaoicibaDictYouDict[giraffe 词源字典]
giraffe: [17] The 16th-century name for the ‘giraffe’ was camelopard, a compound of camel and leopard appropriate enough in view of the animal’s long neck and leopard-like spots, but in the 17th century a rival term came on the scene – giraffe. This was borrowed from either French girafe or Italian giraffa, both of which go back to Arabic zirāfah, a word probably of African origin.
[giraffe etymology, giraffe origin, 英语词源]
girdle: English has two words girdle. The more familiar, ‘belt’ [OE], goes back, together with its relatives garth, gird [OE], and girth [14], to a prehistoric Germanic *gurd-, *gard-, *gerdwhich denoted ‘surrounding’. From *gurdcame the verb *gurthjan, which produced both gird and girdle (as well as relatives in other Germanic languages, such as German gürtel, Dutch gordel, and Swedish gördel, all meaning ‘belt’), while *gerd- formed the basis of *gerdō, acquired by English via Old Norse gjorth as girth. Girdle ‘metal baking plate’ [15] (as in girdle cake) is a Scottish alteration of griddle (see GRID).
=> garth, gird, girth
girl: [13] Where girl comes from is one of the unsolved puzzles of English etymology. What is at least clear is that originally it meant ‘child’ in general rather than specifically ‘female child’ (a mid 15th-century text refers to knave-gerlys ‘male children’), but where it came from is not known. Among suggestions for words that may be connected are Low German göre ‘child, kid’ and Norwegian dialect gurre ‘lamb’.
gist: [18] Cest action gist, literally ‘this action lies’, was an Old French expression denoting that a case was sustainable in law and could be proceeded with. English took over gist, which was the third person singular of the verb gésir ‘lie’, as a legal term meaning ‘grounds for action in a suit’. The more general modern meaning, ‘central point’, developed in the 19th century.
give: [OE] Give is part of a widespread Germanic family of verbs, including also German geben, Dutch geven, Swedish giva, and Danish give, not to mention Gothic giban. They all come from a prehistoric Germanic *geban, a verb of uncertain ancestry (it has been suggested that it was related to Latin habēre ‘have’, their opposite meaning being accounted for by a shared notion of ‘reaching out the hands’ – either to ‘take and have’ or to ‘give’).
gizzard: [14] Latin gigeria denoted the ‘cooked entrails of poultry’, something of a delicacy in ancient Rome (the word may have been borrowed from Persian jigar). This produced a Vulgar Latin *gicerium, which passed into Old French as giser. English acquired it, but did not change it from giser to gizzard until the 16th century (the addition of a so-called ‘parasitic’ d or t to the end of a word also accounts for pilchard, varmint, and the now obsolete scholard for scholar, among others).
glacier: [18] Latin glaciēs meant ‘ice’ (it probably came from Indo-European *gel- ‘cold’, which also produced English cold and Latin gelidus ‘cold’). Its Vulgar Latin descendant was *glacia, which passed into French as glace (whence English glacé ‘iced, crystallized’ [19]). A derivative glacière was used in Frenchspeaking areas of the Alps for a ‘moving mass of ice’. It later became glacier, the form in which English borrowed it. Glacial [17] comes from the Latin derivative glaciālis.
=> cold, glance, jelly
glad: [OE] The original meaning of Old English glæd was ‘bright, shining’. It went back to a prehistoric Germanic *glathaz, which was related to Latin glaber ‘smooth, bald’ (source of English glabrous [17] and Old Slavic gladuku ‘smooth’). ‘Happy’ is a secondary semantic development, which evidently took place before the various Germanic dialects went their own way, for it is shared by Swedish and Danish glad (the sense ‘smooth’, also an extension of ‘bright, shining’, is preserved in German glatt).
=> glabrous
gladiator: [16] The main Latin word for ‘sword’ was gladius. It was probably borrowed from a Celtic word, in which case its relatives would include Irish claideb, Welsh cleddyf, and Scots Gaelic claidheamh (which with the addition of mór ‘great’ produced English claymore [18]). Among its derivatives were gladiātor, literally ‘swordsman’, and gladiolus, literally ‘little sword’, acquired by English in the 16th century.
=> claymore, gladiolus
glamour: [18] Unlikely as it may seem, glamour is ultimately the same word as grammar. This seems to have been used in the Middle Ages for ‘learning’ in general, and hence, by superstitious association, for ‘magic’ (there is no actual record of this, but the related gramarye was employed in that sense). Scottish English had the form glamour for grammar (l is phonetically close to r, and the two are liable to change places), used for ‘enchantment’, or a ‘spell’, for whose introduction to general English Sir Walter Scott was largely responsible.

The literal sense ‘enchanted’ has now slipped into disuse, gradually replaced since the early 19th century by ‘delusive charm’, and latterly ‘fashionable attractiveness’.

=> grammar
glance: [15] ‘Touch or deflect lightly’, as in ‘glance off something’ and a ‘glancing blow’, is the primary meaning of glance; ‘look briefly’ did not develop until the 16th century. The word may have originated as an alteration of the Middle English verb glacen ‘glide, slide’ (probably under the influence of Middle English glenten, the ancestor of modern English glint). Glacen was borrowed from Old French glacier ‘slide’, a derivative of glace ‘ice’ (from which English also gets glacier).
=> glacier
glare: see glass
glass: [OE] The making of glass goes back to ancient Egyptian times, and so most of the words for it in the various Indo-European languages are of considerable antiquity. In those days, it was far easier to make coloured glass than the familiar clear glass of today. In particular, Roman glass was standardly bluish-green, and many words for ‘glass’ originated in colour terms signifying ‘blue’ or ‘green’.

In the case of glass, its distant ancestor was Indo-European *gel- or *ghel-, which produced a host of colour adjectives ranging in application from ‘grey’ through ‘blue’ and ‘green’ to ‘yellow’. Among its descendants was West Germanic *glasam, which gave German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish glas and English glass. A secondary semantic development of the word’s base, glass being a shiny substance, was ‘shine, gleam’; this probably lies behind English glare [13], whose primary sense is ‘shine dazzlingly’ (the change of s to r is a well-known phonetic phenomenon, termed ‘rhoticization’).

Irish gloine ‘glass’ also comes from Indo-European *g(h)el-, and French verre and Italian vetro ‘glass’ go back to Latin vitrum ‘glass’ (source of English vitreous), which also meant ‘woad’, a plant which gives a blue dye. The use of the plural glasses for ‘spectacles’ dates from the mid-17th century. The verb glaze [14] is an English derivative of glass.

=> glaze
gleam: [OE] Gleam is one of a very wide range of English words beginning with gl that denote ‘shining’ (others include glare, glint, glister, glitter, and glow). Originally it was a noun, which came from Germanic *glaim-, *glim- (source also of glimmer [15]); the verb is a 13thcentury development.
=> glimmer, glimpse
glebe: see globe
glee: [OE] Glee has had a strange history. It was common in Old English times, both for ‘entertainment, having fun’ (source of the modern sense ‘joy, delight’), and in the more specific sense ‘musical entertainment’ (from which we get the ‘unaccompanied part-song’ of glee clubs). It survived healthily into the 15th century but then went into long-term decline. By the 17th century it seems virtually to have become extinct.

However, in 1755 Dr Johnson in his Dictionary said that it was ‘not now used except in ludicrous writing, or with some mixture of irony and contempt’, signalling the start of a revival which got fully under way towards the end of the 18th century. How and why it came back from the dead in this way is not known. Its source was Germanic *gliujam.

glimmer: see gleam
glimpse: [14] Glimpse originally meant ‘shine faintly’. It comes from the same Germanic source (*glaim-, *glim-) as produced English gleam and glimmer. The modern sense ‘see briefly’ developed in the 18th century from the noun glimpse, originally a ‘momentary or dim flash’, hence ‘faint brief appearance’, and finally ‘sight of something afforded by such an appearance’.
=> gleam, glimmer
glitter: [14] Glitter goes back to a Germanic *glit-, denoting ‘shining, bright’, which also produced German glitzern ‘sparkle’ (source of English glitz) and gleissen ‘glisten’ and Swedish glittra ‘glitter’. English probably acquired it via Old Norse glitra.
=> glitz
glitz: [20] Glitz, a sort of ‘shallow but exciting and fashionable sparkle and showiness’, is a backformation from glitzy, an American slang term fashionable in the early 1980s. This in turn was derived from Yiddish glitz ‘glitter’, which came from German glitzern ‘sparkle’ (a relative of English glitter). Its fortuitous resemblance to a blend of glamour and Ritz contributes to its expressiveness.
=> glitter