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


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).

  • 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.

(See also the definition of course given by Oxford Living Dictionaries.)

protected by Mitch Jul 8 at 14:14

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?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.