are courage and courteous related

Fascinating Fundamentals


As a word nerd, I love dictionaries. One of the very best gifts I received from my dad was a set of two dictionaries. They came to me well-used and I used them well.


Words for the New Year

I wondered about two words--courage and courteous--that I think are important to this time in the life of our culture.

Were they related? Nope. But it seems like they should be, doesn't it? In an era of trolls and mean-spiritedness, it takes courage to be courteous.


Courage: quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness or without fear

From the Old French, corage (Modern French courage), which means heart, innermost feelings.

From common Latin, coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanish coraje), and classical Latin, cor, which means heart. 


Courteous: excellence of manners or social conduct, respectful or considerate act or expression, polite in behavior towards others. 

From the Old French, corteis (modern French courtois), which means having courtly bearer or manners.