0

According to Google, and a few other sources, "good" was originally the verbal and adjective equivalent of "god" (hence the good news') but I was wondering where the word originally came from and what is its etymology.

closed as off-topic by tchrist, Mari-Lou A, Robusto, Chenmunka, user66974 Sep 18 '14 at 18:26

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – tchrist, Mari-Lou A, Robusto, Chenmunka, Community
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4

Good does not come from God, but probably from Old English gōd, which is not the same. Before 900; Middle English (adj., adv., and noun); Old English gōd (adj.); cognate with Dutch goed, German gut, Old Norse gōthr, Gothic goths. The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's by Wycliffe from the Latin Vulgate, so you can draw your own conclusions. (et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona et divisit lucem ac tenebras: And God saw the light, that it was good: and divided the light from the darkness. Gen 1:4) The word God comes from the IndoEuropean root gal- "to call out.[1] However, ProtoSemetic root found in Hebrew was there as such in Proto-Semitic "*ח ד ה , GH D H (accentuated vowel)". I don't know if that is significant. Many religions have malevolent gods as well as good ones.

Good: from Old English gōd (with a long "o") "virtuous; desirable; valid; considerable," probably originally "having the right or desirable quality," from Proto-Germanic *gothaz (cognates: Old Norse goðr, Dutch goed, Old High German guot, German gut, Gothic goþs), originally "fit, adequate, belonging together," from PIE root *ghedh- "to unite, be associated, suitable" (cognates: Old Church Slavonic godu "pleasing time," Russian godnyi "fit, suitable," Old English gædrian "to gather, to take up together"). As an expression of satisfaction, from early 15c.; of children, "well-behaved," by 1690s. - Etymonline

The alleged Indo-European “root” of "good" is ghedh (to unite, join, fit). That which is united is "good". according to the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Gothic goþs meant "good, kind, beautiful", but gives no date.

If I had the OED, I might be able to do more.

[1] Wondering about Words: D'où viennent les mots anglais ? by Judith Andreyev

  • Gothic words can usually be assumed to be datable to the Gothic Bible by Wulfila, which was written some time around AD 500. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 17 '14 at 10:22

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