About the word Jewellery

A short blog post today, about a wonderful piece of background to the origins of the word jewellery! Sometimes it is so easy to use a word and never stumble across its roots.

Jewellery is one of the most personal things we possess, typically received as a gift, or perhaps to mark an important occasion in our lives. This is especially obvious in its etymological roots. The French word joaillerie is related to the word “joy”, and the the English, French and Italian words for jewel (joel in old French, and giolello in Italian) come from the Latin gaudium, which means pleasure of rejoicing in the broadest sense. (Mostly we only hear this word on the announcement of the election of a new pope, “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum”, or “I announce to you a great joy”!)

So jewellery is literally tied to joy, rejoicing and pleasure, and on one level is the material representation of the happiest moments of our lives! 🙂

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