G

gambit: Opening remark intended to secure an advantage for the speaker. From Italian “gambetto”=to trip up < Latin “gamba”=leg.

garrulous: Giving to much talking; chatty. Latin “garrulus”=talkative < “garrire”=to chat, prattle +”-ous”=suffix meaning “full of.”

geek: Expert in a technical field, particularly computers (1984). From regional English “geck”=foolish or worthless.

ghost: Spirit of a dead person that some people think they can see. From Old English “gast”=the soul or spirit of a person.

ghoul: In Muslim legend an evil being that robs graves and eats corpses. From Arabic “ghul”=mythical grave plunderer.

glare: To look fixedly on (c17th). Originally to shine brilliantly (c13th). From Middle English “glaren”=to gleam, shine.

glee: Musical style of unaccompanied song. From Old English “gliu”=mirth/jest. Old English entertainer was a “gleuman.”

gloaming: Dusk or twilight. Old English “glom”=twilight. Related to Old English “glowan”=to glow.

glower: Look at with a fixed gaze, usually angrily. Obscure origin ? Old English “glowan”=to glow c.f Danish “glo”=to stare.

glurge: Sentimental, mawkish or uplifting story that uses fabricated facts. Maybe a portmanteau of “gulp”+”purge” – the reaction to glurge!

goal: End point in a race, both physically and metaphorically. Obscure origin, possibly Old English “gal”=goal or even Celtic “gasla”=stone.

goblin: Ugly mischievous sprite that is sometimes evil and malicious. From Medieval Latin “gobelinus” < Greek “kobalos” rogue.

Google: Company name of an internet search engine, derived from “googol,” alluding to the amount of net-based data. Often used as a verb.

googol: Ten to the power 100. From 1940, allegedly invented by Milton Sirotta, the 9-year-old nephew of mathematician Dr. Edward Kasner.

gold-brick: To have an easy time; to shirk. US Slang. From swindle of selling a fake gold bar. From Old English “gold” + Old French “briche”

gourmet: Connoisseur of food and drink. From Old French “gromet”=wine seller’s assistant.

gratuitous: Without cause; free. From Latin “gratuitus”=free, voluntary < “gratia”=favor.

grimace: Contort the face to indicate a certain mental or emotional state. Uncertain origin, poss. Old English “grima”=a spectre.

grimoire: a book of magical spells, including demon summoning. From Gk. “grammatikos”=pertaining to letter. And yes, same root as “grammar.”

gringo: foreigner in South America; pejorative for US Americans. Origin Latin “Graecus” to Spanish “griego”=Greek, which means “foreigner.”

grocer: Someone who sells vegetables and fruit. From Latin “grossarius”=one who sells by the gross (large quantities).

ground: Lowest part or downward limit of anything. From Old English “grund”=bottom or foundation.

group: A collection of objects regarded as a unit. From Italian “gruppo”=cluster or knot. Originally (1686) used for Art designs.

G-string: Native American loincloth (1878) that covers the genitals and is attached by string. Possible “G”=groin, a taboo word then.

gumbo: Louisiana stew or soup, made from a stock, thickened by okra, and served with rice. From Bantu “ngombo”=okra.

guttersnipe: From 1860’s – outcast child in the gutters (streets). From Latin “gutta”=drop (water) + Old Norse “snipa”=marsh bird.