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The History of the Word Mortgage

Today we are taking a look at the history behind the word mortgage. The term dates back to the late 14th century and comes from the Old French word, morgage (mort gaige was the 13th century version). The Latin root words are “mort,” meaning “dead,” and “gage,” which means “pledge.” So the word mortgage literally means “dead pledge” – it was so named because it describes a deal that dies either when the debt is paid or when payment fails. But wait – you may have noticed that morgage doesn’t have a “t” in it; the letter was restored in Modern English based on Latin. Now you know!

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