Sunday, February 5, 2012

Giant v. Patriot

Giant \JAHY-uhnt\
Giant dates to the 1300's from Old French geant, a later form of the earlier jaiant, which derives from Vulgar Latin *gagantem. *Gagantem is based on Latin gigas, a borrowing from Greek gigas. Gigas were one of a race of savage beings who were eventually destroyed by the Greek gods and probably ultimately comes from a pre-Greek language. Prior to the 1300's the Old English words for giant were ent, eoten, and gigant. The original sense of "man of great size and strength" survives into modern languages, but since the1530's it can also mean "person with an extraordinary quality" and since th 1550's it can mean "very tall person." It has been a team in the National Football League since 1925.

Patriot \PEY-tree-uht\ or \PA-tree-uht\
Patriot dates to the 1590's as "compatriot" from Middle French patriote, which derives from Late Latin patriota ("fellow-countryman"). The Latin word is borrowed from Greek patriotes ("fellow countryman"), which evolved from patrios ("of one's fathers"), similar to patris ("fatherland") from pater ("father"). The suffix -otes expresses a state or condition. In the 1600's patriot came to mean "loyal and disinterested supporter of one's country" which evolved into an ironic term of ridicule by the mid-18th century in England. In post-WWII American English the word experienced a kind of revival as a positive word. It has been associated with the famous (and infamous?) Patriot Act since 2001. It has been a team in the National Football League since 1959.

*Both images are from

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