In my French class yesterday, my professor told us that the English word gout (referring to the type of arthritis) comes from the French word goût, meaning "taste", because gout has been associated with extravagant appetites. I didn't want to correct her during class, but this was incorrect, and there's a tell-tale sign: the circumflex over the u in French indicates the disappearance of the letter s after the vowel. If the word were to go into English from Old French (which is much likelier than Modern French), it would be spelled goust. Indeed, goût comes from an Old French word spelled goust that itself is from Latin gustus, meaning "taste". However, English gout is from Old French gote and Latin gutta, meaning "drop of liquid", because, in old times, the disease was thought to be caused by an excess of the bodily humors, which would seep into the blood in droplets from the joints.
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.