Word of the Day: gut

Word of the Day
August 23, 2016
gut (noun, verb, adjective)
/gʌt/  sound icon
We gutted the house so we will be able to completely renovate the interior.
Gut, often in the plural form guts, is a synonym for intestines and also for belly or stomach. Figuratively, guts refers to the inner workings of anything and, informally, it means 'courage or determination.' As a verb, to gut means 'to take out the inner organs of an animal' and, by extension, 'to destroy the interior of anything.' It also means 'to steal things from a house or town' or 'to remove the essence of something.' As an adjective, gut refers to anything essential or based on instincts or feelings.

 

Example sentences
 
That doctor specializes in diseases of the gut.
Paul was worried about the pain in his gut.
The engineer took apart the guts of the machine to look for the problem.
It takes a lot of guts to stand up to a bully.
The fisherman gutted his catch before cooking it.
The workmen gutted the building.
The budget cuts gutted our department.
I didn't like him. I couldn't say why; it was just a gut reaction.

 

Multi-word forms
 
hate someone's guts: really hate someone. Example: "I never want to see you again; I hate your guts!" This is an informal expression most often spoken by children.
 
spill your guts: tell someone everything you know. Example: "After hours of questioning, the suspect finally spilled his guts."
 
have someone's guts for garters (UK): punish or reprimand someone severely; most often said as a threat. Example: "When I find out who deleted all my files from the server, I'm going to have their guts for garters!"
 
have a gut feeling: have an instinct. Example: "I have a gut feeling that this isn't a good idea!"
 
Did you know?
 
The expression follow your gut is often used in English to mean you should obey your instincts, even if logically you think you should do something else. Examples: "If you think something is wrong, you should follow your gut." "I got accepted by the two colleges I want to go to, and I don't know which I should choose. They're both equally good, so I might just have to follow my gut."
 
Origin
 
Gut dates back to before the year 1000, when the Old English guttas (plural) meant 'bowels.' The singular gutta meant 'a channel' (see the Modern English word gutter). The word is related to another Old English word, gēotan, meaning 'to pour.' They both come from the Proto-Germanic root *gut-, which also meant 'to pour.' In Middle English, the word became gut, with guttes as the plural. By this point, both meant 'bowels.' The figurative uses meaning 'feelings or instincts' are probably as old as the word itself, and the sense of 'the insides or contents of something' dates back to the 16th century. The verb comes from the noun, and first appeared in the late 14th century.
 
 
 
 
 
Gut in other languages
 
 
 
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