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What is the origin of confirmative phrase "of course"? I assume it has something to do with sailing maybe?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Seems you are right

Phrase of course is attested from 1540s; lit. "of the ordinary course;" earlier in same sense was bi cours (c.1300).

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I see nothing in that entry which mentions sailing or navigation. In the OED meanings of "course" to do with navigation are attested back to 1553, but "of course" in its modern sense a few years earlier. – Colin Fine Mar 29 '11 at 16:24
@Colin Okeee, flowing of a river then.... – mplungjan Mar 29 '11 at 17:12

The NOAD reports that the origin of course is Middle English: from Old French cours, from Latin cursus, from curs- (run), from the verb currere, "to move, to travel, to proceed"

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