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August 03, 2004

Today's word: Giddy


  • Having a reeling, lightheaded sensation; dizzy.
  • Causing or capable of causing dizziness: a giddy climb to the topmast.
  • Frivolous and lighthearted; flighty.

Word History: The word giddy refers to fairly lightweight experiences or situations, but at one time it had to do with profundities. Giddy can be traced back to the same Germanic root *gud- that has given us the word God. The Germanic word *gudigaz formed on this root meant “possessed by a god.” Such possession can be a rather unbalancing experience, and so it is not surprising that the Old English descendant of *gudigaz, gidig, meant “mad, possessed by an evil spirit,” or that the Middle English development of gidig, gidi, meant the same thing, as well as “foolish; mad (used of an animal); dizzy; uncertain, unstable.” Our sense “lighthearted, frivolous” represents the ultimate secularization of giddy.

@ 01:47 PM | Today's Word (t) | Comments (0) | Cosmos


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