Something that is moot is disputable, irrelevant, or unsolvable, but going back it time we can see it take on quite a different meaning. First, we get the usual slew of alterations in Middle English due to the lack of more rigorous conventions: forms such as mot and gemot were rampant as well as our current word. Gemot was also the word for moot in Old English (the ge- got dropped later), where it meant "assembly" or "meeting" (Game of Thrones fans might recognize the usage of moot in a context of "congregation", where a Kingsmoot is a method of choosing a ruler of the Iron Islands). The connection is rather curious: law students back in the day would gather in meetings to practice hypothetical trials. These mock trials led to a meaning of "hypothetical", which was later extended to the current definitions. Anyway, gemot comes from Proto-Germanic mota, meaning "an encounter", and that in turn is derived as being from Proto-Indo-European mehd, or "to come".
Adam Aleksic is a 219-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam is awaiting his college rescissions and loves writing about himself in the third person.
The Etymology Nerd