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Mortgage - Death contract?

by Kevin
(Portland, Oregon)

Dear Latin Teacher,

I know the root of Mortgage (mori) is death, but what is the Gage part?

Dear Kevin,

You are right that the word mortgage is half Latin, from mortuus. The second half (-gage) is not Latin, but Germanic. It's from Middle English, meaning a security pledge.

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.



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