Fun Etymology Tuesday – Tragedy

Goodness me, we’re late, aren’t we?!

Wouldn’t it just be tragic if we forgot FunEty?! Well, we didn’t (we’re just running very late) but today’s word is tragedy!

During the late 14th century, this word came to English from French “tragedie”, from Latin “tragedia”, meaning simply a tragedy (in the theatre sense), from Greek “tragodia”, meaning a dramatic poem or play in formal language with an unhappy ending.

Literally, though, this Greek word actually means “goat song” (which, admittedly, sounds rather tragic if you have to listen to it, especially late at night)! From the word “tragos”, meaning goat, and “oide”, meaning song, and from which modern English “ode” hails, we now get “tragedy” meaning any unhappy event or disaster, a meaning that developed during the 15th century.

That’s it for today’s FunEty! More fun to come next week!

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