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Miscellaneous

What's the origin of the word handsome?

1 Answer

It is from Middle English handsum, hondsom, equivalent to hand & some. Similar to Dutch handzaam, German Low German handsaam. The original sense was 'easy to handle or use', hence 'suitable' and 'apt, clever', in the mid 16th century, giving rise to the current sense in the late 16th century.

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