What's in a Word | All Blogs


A game or a peril?

By Debra Dobbins

Jeopardy’s just a game, right? Or does it mean great danger or peril? Actually, it has meant both since it came into English in the 14th century.

According to www.word-origins.com, the word comes from two Old French words: jeu and parti.

Here’s more of the word's history from the same source: “The semantic focus of jeopardy has changed subtly over the centuries. Originally it meant ‘even chance’, but gambling being the risky business it is, and human nature having a strong streak of pessimism, attention was soon focussed (sic) on the ‘chanciness’ rather than the ‘evenness’, and by the late 14th century jeopardy was being used in its modern sense ‘risk of loss or harm, danger’. The word originated in the Old French expression jeu parti, literally ‘divided play’, hence ‘even chance’. It was to begin with a term in chess and similar board games.”

http://www.word-origins.com/definition/jeopardy.html

Two chess players try to put each other into jeopardy.
 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Spring Powder
By Ann Driggers
Saturday, April 19, 2014

Garden Experiments 2014: A new type of berry plant
By Penny Stine
Friday, April 18, 2014

Not just any Friday
By Debra Dobbins
Friday, April 18, 2014

Celebrate Music on Record Store Day
By David Goe
Friday, April 18, 2014

Frugal Frida Links: Cheap Vacations
By Julie Norman
Friday, April 18, 2014


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy