In the rather excellent movie My Cousin Vinny, the prosecutor said that the word "verdict" means "truth" and implied that it comes from Old English. This is half-correct. The noun was first attested in 1297 as verdit - that's during a time when Middle English was spoken - and, that derives from the Old French word veirdit, which translates most directly to "true saying" (the latter part was conspicuously glossed over). The "true" part, veir, is from Latin veritas and Proto-Indo-European weh, with the same definition; the "saying" part, dit, is the past participle of the verb for "say", dire, and that traces to Latin dicere (also "say") and the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction deik, meaning "show". I used Google Trends to look up search frequency for the term verdict over the past 16 years, and it had large spikes in July 2011, July 2013; I'm guessing that was because of the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials which resolved at those times.
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.