Word Geek – Wreath


It’s around this time of year we see leaves and flowers intertwined into wreaths on people’s front doors as part of their festive decorations. So it seemed apt for Word Geek to investigate the origins of the word ‘wreath’ as the word of the month for December.

The word wreath was created from a mix of different words which, as you can see, all describe the object’s nature and appearance:

The root word ‘wer’ or ‘wreit’ means ‘to turn, bend’.

The Old English word ‘wrioa’ means ‘fillet, bandage or band’ describing something which is literally ‘that which is wound around.’

And the Proto-Germanic word ‘writhon’, means to turn or twist.

The first use of its meaning as a ring or garland of flowers was recorded in the 1560s.

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