Word of the Week



noun JEST


1 : a tale of adventures; especially : a romance in verse

2 : adventure, exploit

Did You Know?

“Let the Queen know of our gests,” Antony instructs his men after a hard-won victory on the battlefield in William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Great deeds and heroic acts have been the stuff of gests since medieval days; in fact, the word is more often associated with knights and heroes of old than with modern adventurers. We may not be hearing about many 21st century gests, but we do frequently encounter other relatives of the word. Gest traces to Latin gestus, the past participle of the verb gerere, which means “to wage,” “to bear,” or “to carry,” among other things. That Latin verb gave us stoutly enduring words like gestureingestjestregister, and suggest.

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“The best authentic source of Robin Hood stories is the late medieval poem A Gest of Robyn Hode…, a compilation of traditional ballads and stories.” — Guy McDonald, England, 2003

“I was looking forward to this film [Onward] for the last month. My mom follows ‘new’ movie trailers and called me as soon as she saw this one. The gest was essentially an adventure about two brothers.” — Andrew McManus, The Portsmouth (Ohio) Daily Times, 11 Mar. 2020

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