Printable Version
Pronunciation: gês-to Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Extraordinary zest, keen relish, enthusiastic enjoyment.

Notes: Don't forget to put an E in the plural of this word: gustoes. The English version of this word, borrowed from Old French guste, is the obsolete gust, which may refer simply to ordinary physical taste or serve as a synonym of gusto. In the former sense, it is related to the host of words referring to taste: gustation, gustatory, and gusty "tasty".

In Play: The original sense of today's word referred to taste: "Hardy Belcher devoured his meal with much gusto." But this word has wandered far afield from its original meaning: "Dolly Salvador lives life with as much gusto as possible."

Word History: Today's Good Word appears in the vocabularies of languages all over the world including such non-Indo-European ones as Filipino and Indonesian. It was borrowed from Italian, handed down from Latin gustus "a tasting", from PIE geus- "to taste, enjoy; choose, select". We find evidence of this word in Greek geusis " taste, flavor", Albanian joshë "bait, temptation", German kosten "to taste", Danish and Norwegian kost "diet", Dutch kost "grub, fare", and Irish guí "wish". Latin gustus became goût "taste" in French with the cap on the U, indicating the historical removal of S. (A nod of appreciation is due wordmaster Albert Skiles for suggesting we do today's lovely and much-expanded Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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