What’s the Word #17 – Forsooth

March 16, 2016 at 12:02 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

The word I chose today is forsooth, which means “in truth; actually; indeed”.
Forsooth is an archaic word used most often today in a humorous or derisive manner, or to express disbelief.

  1. “Forsooth, none of the Presidential candidates  running for election this year are qualified to lead this country.”
  2. Ah, forsooth, is that his eminence Ernie granting us the pleasure of his company?”

Here is a link to the Dictionary.com definition.
Forsooth is derived from the Old English forsōth, (for – in support of; and sooth – truth).

In Anglo-Saxon times to soothe, a derivative of the word sooth meant ‘to show or prove that something is true’. The first part of soothsayer (Middle English), ‘someone who can foresee the future’, is based on the same word and originally described someone who speaks the truth, while the archaic forsooth is simply another way of saying ‘in truth’. However, during the 16th century the meaning of soothe which originally meant ‘to corroborate a statement, back someone up in what they are saying’, changed in meaning to ‘to humour or flatter someone by agreeing with them’. This finally led to the meaning ‘to calm, comfort, or placate’ which we are familiar with today.


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