Pronounced: hem-ee-dem-ee-SEM-ee-kway-vuhr, noun
Notes: Some people with a certain background may get this immediately
The word troth means
- one’s word or promise, especially in engaging oneself to marry
- faithfulness, fidelity, or loyalty
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.