We all know what a mortgage is. Or at least, the general idea. I admit that I tend to think of it as the loan on my house…but in actual fact, I have that a little off. The mortgage is actually the agreement that says my house is collateral for the loan.
But what I had never stopped to think about is the root of the word. As soon as someone points out that it’s from the French, I can see that root though…and at first glance, it’s startling. Because mort means…DEATH.
Um…this is beginning to sound a little frightening, right? What kind of collateral agreement did I get into??? 😉
No need to fear though. Mort does indeed mean “death,” but that gage part is from the French gaige, which means “pledge” or “deal.” Which DOESN’T mean “a deal of death,” but rather, “the death of the deal.” Which is to say, this agreement would be in effect until it was “dead” from being paid off or when payment failed. (Miss a payment, loan rescinded, all is due at that time.)
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty glad no mafiosi are involved. 😉