I know it's an idiomatic synonym for "make a guess" or "take a guess," but what is the underlying basis for the phrase? Is "hazarding a guess" more dangerous than "taking a guess?"
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
The word “hazard” is (probably) from an arabic word meaning “dice”, and came to English through French where it originally meant a game of dice and then more generally chance, randomness. The word further evolved in English to mean risk, then danger. I'll hazard the guess that “hazard a guess” is an idiom that retains the older meaning of “taking a chance on a guess”.
It's like “make a guess”, really. Maybe a bit more uncertain, even.
In addition to meaning, I should say that it is very commonly used:
As reported by the NOAD, one of the meanings of hazard (when used as verb) is "venture to say (something)."
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Mar 29 '12 at 9:52
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?