You know how I often begin these posts by telling you about how my family was talking about this or that word, and I guess as to how it evolved, and I was right? Yeah…not the case this time at all. 😉
As it turns out, delight has nothing to do with light, as I was trying to guess. 😉 It’s actually from the French delitier, which is in turn from the Latin delectare, both of which mean “pleasure, charm, that which satisfies.” And that Latin probably looks pretty familiar, right? We also get words like delectable and delicious from the same root. Delight is just a variation of those, and both the noun and verb entered English way back in the 1200s…but was spelled delite for hundreds of years, until the 16th century.
Why the change to -ight? Well that is owed to the influence of words like light, flight, night etc. It’s solely an attempt to use a uniform spelling of a sound and has nothing at all to do with the meaning of the word it then looks like. Go figure!