Fun Etymology Tuesday – Giddy

Tuesday! And you know, this particular Tuesday is a little bit better than other Tuesdays (if that’s possible), because today, this writer gets to go home from a long work trip (which has been lovely, but not quite as lovely as being with my husband back home). Anyway, that’s nice for you, but what’s your point, you ask? Well, I’m feeling rather giddy and figured that that would be a good word for today! So “giddy” it is!

From Old English “gidig”, a variant of “gydig”, from Germanic “gudo(m)”, this little word originally meant literally “possessed by a god” (I wonder which one I got!), which according to the OED was likely its primary sense. In Old English, it had developed to referring to the insane, mad, or stupid (starting to feel like I insulted myself) while, in Early Modern English (ca. 1560), we find the meaning “having a confused, swimming sensation”, perhaps comparable with what we mean when we say “dizzy” today. The meaning “elated” came about during the 1540s, so you can clearly see that there’s been a significant semantic change throughout the centuries for this Germanic word!

And that’s our Tuesday fun! I’ll be back on Thursday with a bit of an announcement for you all! (Aren’t you curious? Well, you’ll simply have to wait!)
Until then: have a lovely day, everybody!

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