Discord is an online medium of communication that was designed chiefly for video gamers, but has since grown from that to include groups of all kinds. Obviously, the name is meant to imply a cacophonous conversation, much like ones that result on the platform, but there was a lot of thought that went into choosing it. According to creator Jason Citron, Discord was also picked because it wasn't trademarked, seemed like something that could easily be remembered, would work for a website name, and had to do with the product. However, if Citron knew the etymology, maybe he would've thought twice! When the word discord was first borrowed into English in the thirteenth century, it took the form of descorde and meant "unfriendly feeling". Before then, in Old French, it meant "disagreement", and the same was true with Latin discordia. The literal meaning for that, though, was "hearts apart" (the hearts metonymically standing in for people), as we see when we break off the prefix dis-, meaning "apart", and are left with the root cordis, or "heart". Cordis comes from Proto-Indo-European kerd, with the same definition, and dis did not change from PIE at all.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-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 College in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd