Pronounced: stuh-NOFF-uh-gus, adj
Notes: Another really nifty, useful word
The word besot means
- to inspire with admiration to the point of foolishness
- to make dull or stupid (as by drunkenness)
This word can be traced back to the mid-1500s
Background / Comments
I was so sure I was right on this one! I’m familiar with the phrase “he is besotted by her” – because I recognized the word “sot” (a drunkard), I was convinced that the word meant to have someone act like a drunkard (which some besotted men can do). Unfortunately, I had it backwards: the word comes from a combination of be- (to cause to be) and sot (to cause to appear foolish or stupid). The root sot comes from the Middle English word sott (fool). Thus, the modern word “sot” – meaning drunkard – is because a drunkard can be foolish, not the other way around.