• doughty •
Pronunciation: dæw-ti • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Persistently courageous, resolute, tough, determined.
Notes: This word is not to be confused with doughy, without the T and which means "made of dough". It comes with the usual adverb (doughtily) and noun (doughtiness). Notice the shift of Y to I when the word is suffixed. Doughtihead in reference to someone of high moral character fhasn't been used since the 15th century.
In Play: Here is a word that is on the brink of vanishing, perhaps for diminishing references. When referring to a person, this word means "persistent, tough": "Bob Wire was a doughty little booger who never gave up his support for causes he believed in." It is more usually used to refer to actions: "Bob put up a doughty defense of his cause and won the day when he got his way."
Word History: In Old English today's Good Word was dohtig "competent, good, valiant", from dyhtig "strong", related to dugan "to be fit, able, strong". This word derived from Proto-Germanic duhtiz-, source also of German tüchtig "efficient, capable" and Danish dygtig "capable, smart". The Germanic words come from PIE dheugh- "to be fit, useful, productive", which also produced Sanskrit dugdha "milk", Greek teukhein "to produce, prepare", Irish dual "becoming, fit", and German Tugend "virtue". (Let's all give thanks now to the ever doughty Rob Towart for forwarding this vanishing though useful Good Word to us.)