TO MOLD DOUGH
At first blush, the etymology of the word dough might appear a little boring. It's been around English for a while, showing up as dow, dogh, and dagh in Middle English and taking the form dag in Old English. That's reconstructed from the Proto-Germanic root daigaz, meaning "something kneaded". Finally, daigaz comes from the Proto-Indo-European verb dheigh, which could mean "build", "mold", or "form". The interesting part is the other words that came from deyg. We have the noun lady, which literally meant "bread-maker" in Old English; the last part of the word paradise, which meant "form a wall around"; fiction, which came to us from Latin through a sense of "building" a story; and effigy (something you "mold"), among many others. It's really cool how many word are related to plain old dough!
3/16/2021 05:13:08 am
I wonder if the word dag comes from the same root. It refers to the dung that forms around the wool on a sheep’s crutch.
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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.