At various points in Middle English, the word legend was spelled legand, legande, legant, legeand, legent, legende, legeant, legiant, and legyand. Despite all these differences, all have the root leg- and some kind of combination of an alveolar nasal and an alveolar stop. This reflects its derivation from Latin legenda, meaning "story" (it was borrowed in the early 1300s through the twelfth-century Old French word legende). Legenda was the feminine nominative singular gerundive of the verb for "read", legere, and meant something along the lines of "thing which ought to be read". That, through Proto-Italic lego, comes from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction leg, which meant "gather" and also helped form words like analogy, legal, dyslexia, tautology, logarithm, intelligence, and prologue.
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.