The word gravy was first attested in English in the late fourteenth-century cookbook The Forme of Cury, when it was spelled gravey (other early forms included greve, grovy, greavie, greavy, and gravie). It was borrowed from Old French grave, which meant the same thing and came about through a misspelling of their word for "stew", grané. That in turn traces to the Latin word for "seed", granum, on the notion of soups being seasoned with grain-like spices. Granum, which also happens to be the source of our words grain, granary, granite, and pomegranate, ultimately is reconstructed to the Proto-Indo-European root grhnom. also meaning "seed". Historically, literary usage of the noun gravy peaked in 1787 and Google searches for it unsurprisingly spike in November.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy philosophy, trivia, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.