Fun Etymology Tuesday – Mortage

Tuesday! Let’s go, shall we?

Today’s word is “mortgage”. Few of us wish to have one, a non-wish reflected in its etymology!

Coming to English during the 14th century, this word comes from Old French “morgage”, a compound from “mort gage”, ultimately from post-classical Latin mortuum vadium, literally meaning “dead pledge”!

The term stems from the fact that a deal dies when the debt is paid (or, in worst case scenario, when payment fails). In English, it was actually borrowed straight off as “morgage”, the <t> being restored in modern English on the basis of Latin mortuum.

So let those debts die (in the good way, that is), ladies and gents, and see you next week for more Fun Etymology!

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