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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Everything that Glitters... not gilt/guilt

Ever notice that guilt and gilt—very different words but they sound the same. Why is that?
Origin of gilt
Middle English, from past participle of gilden to gild
First Known Use: 14th century
Old English gyldan, from gold gold; related to Old Norse gylla, Middle High German vergülden
So, it comes from the word gold. Got it.

What about guilt?
From the quicky google definition thing:
Old English gylt, of unknown origin.
From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
Old English gylt "crime, sin, moral defect, failure of duty," of unknown origin, though some suspect a connection to Old English gieldan "to pay for, debt," but OED editors find this "inadmissible phonologically." The -u- is an unetymological insertion.
A mystery!

From The Etyman™ Language Blog:
However, the verb form, meaning “to commit an offense, trespass, or sin” turns up in The Vespasian Psalter in the sentence “Swoete & reht dryten fore ðissum aee gesette gyltendum in wege.” The base verb is gyltan and seems to have no equivalents in other Germanic languages. It sounds a little like the German geld meaning gold, which is turn is hypothesized to have its origins in the Old Germanic *geld– meaning “to pay,” but it seems a bit of a stretch to tie “paying” with “failing in duty.”
Go read the whole column, it’s chock full of fascinating bits and wit.  I’ve just discovered the site and I do believe I’m in love!

But, back to my guilt (not gilt)—lately I feel pretty damned defeated and failure-ish vis-à-vis my efforts to be the good, supportive, healing wife. IF I was a good wife, wouldn’t The Amazing Bob be all better now? His last chemo infusion was five weeks ago today. Shouldn’t he, by now, be tap dancing on the ceiling, running a mile in 60 seconds flat, parasailing past the front door at dawn each morning?

IF I’d been indefatigably diligent enough; IF I’d cooked all the right, best foods; IF I’d forced him to get up/take walks/do yoga; IF I’d not forgotten to give him his pills that one night; IF I paid enough careful attention to every little movement he makes, he’d be able to do all that and more now. Right?
What? No?
Even at peak health, when he was a much younger specimen of gorgeous manhood, he wouldn’t/couldn’t have tap-danced on the ceilings, sprinted that mile or gone airborne via sail.

Also too, apparently there are limits to my abilities and superpowers. Goddamnit, stront and porca vacca!!!!

These last few days, TAB’s eating a little more so that’s something. He had another PET scan on Tuesday and today, shortly, we’ll head into MGH for more bloodwork and a visit with his cancer shaman.

I could stand some good news about now.

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