Printable Version
Pronunciation: grêj Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Lingering resentment for a perceived affront or offense.

Notes: Grudges are things we usually bear or harbor against someone who has offended us. It may be used as a verb in the sense of "to resent for a long time", but begrudge is encountered more often in this sense. The relatively rare adjective is grudgeful and the even rarer quality noun is grudgement.

In Play: The resentment must run deep and for a long time for today's word to be appropriate: "Ben Venuti harbors so many grudges against so many people, he sometimes forgets and behaves sociably to some of them." Grudges may be shared: "Everyone in the office bears a grudge against Ben for putting a frog in the water cooler."

Word History: Today's Good Word is a mispronunciation of grutch, from Old English grucchen "to mumble, complain, be angry", which was grucche by Middle English. This word was a remake of Old French grouchier "to mumble, grumble", which when pronounced the English way sounds like grouchier. In fact, it is the origin of the verb to grouse, as well. It is generally considered the result of onomatopoeia. However, the Greek words gru "grunt" and gruzein "to grumble, mutter" suggest that today's word may have PIE origins. Greek gru came from PIE gru- "grunting (of pigs)", which, nasalized, also produced English grunt and German grunzen "to grunt". Without the N, grunt becomes grut, and with an ending E, the T would have become CH in Old English, in other words, grucchen. (Lest she begrudge the oversight, let's all share a thought of gratitude for Paula Kelley Ward for suggesting today's palimpsest of a Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!