One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The ancient Greek concept of shame, modesty, or reverence, especially as a motivating force. Also (usually with capital initial): a personification or representation of this as a goddess, especially in sculpture, painting, etc.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in William King (1663–1712), writer. From ancient Greek αἰδώς shame, respect, reverence from αἴδεσθαι to stand in awe of, fear, of uncertain origin; perhaps ultimately from the same Indo-European base as ore.
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