October 30, 2013
- haunt (verb)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : to visit often : frequent2 a : to have a disturbing or harmful effect b : to come back to the mind of again and again3 : to visit or live in as a ghost
- How do you use it?
- A lady dressed in white and a headless knight were two of the ghosts that were said to haunt the medieval Scottish castle.
- Are you a word wiz?
Word scholars think "haunt" probably came into English from one of these languages. Which one do you think it is?"Haunt" is believed to come from the Old Norse word "heimta," which means "to lead home" and which comes from the Old Norse word "heimr," meaning "home." That's fitting, since houses are still most frequently associated with the adjective "haunted." Some other English words with Old Norse roots continue the spooky tone. "Screech," "shriek," and "squall" all indicate sounds often brought on by fear, and all come from English words that are akin to Norse roots. The verb "scare" itself entered English from Old Norse in the 13th century.