When the word disgust was first used in the English language toward the end of the sixteenth century, it referred specifically to a strong distaste for food, but it soon came to refer to aversions to things in general. The noun was borrowed from Middle French desgouster, which (through the exact same word in Old French) is composed of the roots des-, meaning "not", and gouster, meaning "taste". Des- is a Latin prefix that is reconstructed to a Proto-Indo-European element meaning "apart" and gouster is, by way of Latin gustare, from Proto-Indo-European geus, "to taste" or "choose" (this is also the source of the names Angus and Fergus, the verbs choose and gustate, and the nouns gusto and Valkyrie). Usage of the word disgust peaked in 1804 but has been experiencing something of a comeback since.
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.