Pronounced: hem-ee-dem-ee-SEM-ee-kway-vuhr, noun

Notes: Some people with a certain background may get this immediately

Yesterday’s word

The word troth means

  • one’s word or promise, especially in engaging oneself to marry
  • faithfulness, fidelity, or loyalty
First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1100s


I have run across our word in the phrase “plight one’s troth”; by my recollection, it was pronounced the second way (with a long “o” sound). I knew from the context that it meant a promise to marry, but that didn’t help much with the meaning of just “troth”. It turns out that it comes from the Middle English word trowthe or trouthe, which is a variant of treuthe (truth), which comes from Old English trēowth. The Old Norse word tryggth (faith) comes from a common ancestor. Incidentally, in the phrase plight one’s troth, the word plight is an obsolete form of “pledge”, so the phrase means to pledge one’s faithfulness.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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