We've had the word bacon in the English language since the 1300s, since we took it from the Old French word with the same spelling and meaning. This in turn comes from the Proto-Germanic word bako, which meant "back" or "back meat". It actually makes a lot of sense, because bacon was taken from the back of a pig (and still is, although the "American bacon" us statesiders have come to know is mostly from the belly). This is from a Proto-Indo-European word sounding something like bhag and sharing a meaning of "backside" and "buttocks". It is worth noting that this is only one theory; it is also possible that the word traveled through Frankish and then Anglo-Norman. Bhag is likely related to bhogo, the PIE predecessor of the modern word "back". Since bacon was a basic meat of the early twentieth century, the phrase bring home the bacon was first attested in 1908.
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd