TRAMPLING OVER THRESHOLDS
A friend of mine recently sent me this screenshot of some text explaining where the word threshold comes from:
This, found on Facebook, is actually taken from a viral article titled Life in the 1500s that's infamous in etymological circles for being the textbook example of fake word origins being spread on the Internet. According to Snopes, the article was published as a joke in 1999, but a bunch of people took it seriously and shared it around so much that it's still percolating through the interwebs today (here's the full text if you're interested). The word threshold has been around in some form since Old English. The first part comes from þrescan, which meant "tread" or "trample", and nobody knows where the second part comes from (although it was most likely folk etymologized into hold).
Leave a Reply.
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.