anxious embarrassment


a candy containing a nut or piece of fruit.

Are these two "false friends", words seeming to be related but of completely different origin, or do they share a common etymology?

If so, when did they diverge in meaning - what was the original word that diverged in one direction to sweet foodstuffs, and in other to negative feelings?

  • 1
    Brief answer: both come from Latin (dis)+cum+facere, '(un)+with+make'. Latin conficere means 'put together'; that's the source of comfit(ure), and of confection (confectus is the p.pple of conficere), all referring to prepared sweet and treats. The opposite of 'put together' is 'take apart, destroy', and that's the source of discomfit(ure). -ure is a derivational suffix that attaches to verbs, and discomfit is a verb. All of these words are borrowed from French. Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


From the International French-English and English-French dictionary Editorial Critic of French Pronunciations PAUL PASSY:

The words 'discomfit' and 'descomfiture' essentially have the same definition, and synonyms Par example:

discomfit: défaire, dé-route; disperser; vaincre; dérouter, déconfire

descomfiture: défaite, déroute, dé-confiture The last synonym, dé-confiture is French to get out of a jam, and in French jam archaically meant candied fruit
Comfiture and confiture have the same meaning

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