Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Daily Hump: Goo

I always assumed goo had some sort of onomatopoeic quality. Goo! But, in fact, it seems to be short for burgoo which is a thick stew (originally porridge) native to both New England and, oddly, Kentucky and southern Illinois. It's believe that burgoo is an alteration of ragout, also a stew, which is from the French ragoûter "to revive the taste". Goût is from the Latin gustus "taste", which gives us words such as gusto and disgust.

Gustus is from the Proto-Indo-European base *geus-. Interestingly, although this formed the root for "taste" in Greek and Latin in Germanic and Celtic words the root mostly took on the meaning "try" or "choose". Thus we find the Proto-Germanic *keusan leading to the Old Norse kjosa "to choose" and the word kyrja "chooser". Hence, in Norse mythology, the Valkyries are literally "choosers of the slain (valr, as in Valhalla)".

goo [Online Etymology Dictionary]
ragout [Online Etymology Dictionary]
Valkyrie [Online Etymology Dictionary]
burgoo [AHD]
ragout [AHD]

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:: posted by David, 8:03 AM


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