My daughter and I have been reading a verse from Matthew in Greek each day and then looking at the translation (after she does actual translation in her Ancient Greek textbook), just to see the language in actual use. Well, when one starts in Matthew, that means one comes across verses like “Mary was found to be with child…” Which means one notices that the Ancient Greek word for “pregnant” or “with child” is en gastri. See anything familiar there? Gastr- is where we get gastro, as in “stomach.” It’s pretty much “in the stomach.” Which of course, makes sense.
Given that as of the time I’m writing this I have 5 friends who are either pregnant or just delivered, I thought it would be fun to look at the English word too. =)
English pregnant (from the early 1400s) is from the Latin praegnantem, which literally means “before birth.” Though the word’s been around quite a long time in English, for quite a while it was not considered polite to ever mention it in conversation. Not until the 1950s did it really become okay. Until then, there were an array of euphemisms, which I’m sure we’ve all come across in our reading. Increasing, in a family way, in a delicate condition, and the like.
I’m very excited that so many of my friends and relatives are welcoming new life into the world, however you want to phrase it!