Golly, my flag infographic didn't do the chevron justice, so I simply had to expand upon it here. Currently describing a V-shaped pattern, often used in military or heraldic applications, the chevron in Middle French meant "rafter", because of the angle in roofing which is similar to the chevron. This, even more shockingly, comes from the Latin word caper, meaning "goat" (normally a male), a transition that occurred allegedly because the bent hind leg of a goat was similar in angle to a rafter. More likely than not, caper traces through Proto-Italic to the Proto-Indo-European root kapros, meaning "male goat" again. All of this just goes to show that etymology can take quite interesting and illogical turns whenever it feels like it, spanning completely contrary and bizarre definitions to itself. The word chevron has been steadily decreasing in usage since the late eighteenth century.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.