Word for Wednesday: Sweetheart

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for February is Valentine’s Day

Originally a Christian feast day for St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day in now celebrated all over the world on February 14th. The day is a dedication to all things love and romance. 

The word Valentine has been used since the fifteenth century to describe the person one chooses to spend Valentine’s Day with. It was first used to describe a card or letter sent on Valentine’s Day in 1824. 

Last week, we looked at the word Cupid. Today’s word is sweetheart

The word sweetheart is used as an affectionate pet name between lovers or friends. The term might also be used by someone outside of a couple to describe a pair of romantic partners. 

Sweetheart has been used as a form of address since the late-thirteenth century and to mean ‘loved one’ since the early-sixteenth century. 

Sweet comes from the Old English ‘swete’, from the Proto-Germanic ‘swotja’, from the PIE root ‘swād’.

Heart comes from the Old English ‘heorte’, from the Proto-Germanic ‘hertan’, from the PIE root ‘kerd’. The ‘ea’ spelling dates to around 1500. 

09 Feb 2022
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