Lhynard (lhynard) wrote in linguaphiles,

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On Etymologies Related to the Morals of Stories

The other day, my wife was asking me about what a talent is. My guess is that most of you would answer to yourselves, "It is a natural gift or ability." But she obviously knows that; she was asking rather about what a "talent" referred to in the Parable of the Talents found in the Gospel of Matthew. I explained that a talent was a unit of currency. I then made a guess that our English term "talent" derived from the common interpretation that the parable was referring to not wasting ones natural abilities.

Later on, I looked up the etymology of "talent" and it seems I was correct in my guess.

I'm not sure how to word my question, but can anyone think of any other words whose origin is the morals of stories? That is, are there any other words that had one meaning, were used metaphorically in some widely known tale, and finally came to take on the metaphorical meaning so strongly that the original meaning of the word was near forgotten?

I'm sure there must be some others, right?
x-posted on my own journal
Tags: etymology

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