• trove •
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. A collection of valuables found somewhere or simply a great find. 2. A treasure or source of treasures.
Notes: If you associate this Good Word with the phrase treasure trove, you are right on target. This word is a shortening of that phrase that emerged only at the end of the 19th century. For that reason, it has not had time to propagate and, hence, has only one related form, the plural, troves.
In Play: Because it is a reduction of treasure trove, this word has taken over the meaning of the phrase: "The children went to bed dreaming of a trove of gifts and toys under the tree on Christmas morning." Not only will they probably find it, but, hopefully, they will have the opportunity to share it with a trove of friends and relatives.
Word History: The phrase that Middle English borrowed from Old French was tresor trové "found treasure", the equivalent of Latin thesaurus inventus, a legal term speaking to the rights of ownership of money found buried in the earth. (In the Middle Ages it belonged to the prince who owned the land.) Where the French word for "find" (trouver today) comes from is a bit fuzzy. It seems to have originated in an Old Provençal word trobar "to compose, invent", which could be stretched to "to find" (see Latin inventus above). If so, it goes back to Latin tropus, from which our word trope "figure of speech" derives. The Latin word was borrowed from Greek tropos "turn (of phrase), figure (of speech)". This would make trove a distant cousin of troubadour, the roving minstrels of France, Italy, and Spain in the 12th and 13th centuries.
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