When the word gonorrhea was first used in the English language toward the end of the fifteenth century, it had the specific medical definition of "involuntary discharge of semen". Later on, that term got applied to a disease characterized by a whitish discharge which was actually mucoid, but was mistaken for ejaculate. That disease was gonorrhea as we know it today, and at various times it was written gomorra, gomorrea, gonorrhey, gonorrhæa, gonorrhœa, and many other ways. The word, through Late Latin, derives from the Greek word gonos, meaning "seed" (also the root of gonad; from Proto-Indo-European genh, "beget") and rhein, meaning "to flow" (deriving from Proto-Indo-European srew, also "flow"). So, together, gonorrhea can be translated to "flowing seed". That's pretty interesting.
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.