besot was our Word of the Day on 05/20/2018. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Besot developed from a combination of the prefix be- ("to cause to be") and "sot," a now-archaic verb meaning "to cause to appear foolish or stupid." "Sot" in turn comes from the Middle English noun sott, meaning "fool." The first known use of "besot" is found in a poem by George Turberville, published in 1567. In the poem the narrator describes how he gazed at a beautiful stranger "till use of sense was fled." He then proceeds to compare himself to Aegisthus of Greek legend, the lover of Clytemnestra while Agamemnon was away at war, writing: "What forced the Fool to love / his beastly idle life / Was cause that he besotted was / of Agamemnon’s Wife."
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