Lastly, “bemuse” is not related to “amaze,” which comes from the Old English “amasian,” and originally meant “to stun or render witless.” “Amaze” is related to the noun “maze,” which meant “state of confusion or delirium” before it meant “labyrinth.” The modern sense of “amaze” meaning “to astound; to overcome with wonder” dates to the late 16th century (“Christall eine, Whose full perfection all the world amazes,” Shakespeare, 1593). But in the 16th and 17th centuries, “amaze” was also used to mean “to fill with fear or panic” (“The sight of any shadow amazes the fish,” 1653).

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

Leave a comment