One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: (the state of having) an overwhelming or encumbering excess of wealth, resources, or options. In later use also in neutral or positive sense (sometimes with of): an abundance, plethora, profusion.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philip Stanhope (1694–1773), politician and diplomatist. Originally from French L'embarras des richesses, the title of a comedy by L.-J.-C. Soûlas d'Allainval from le the + embarras + des of the + richesses, plural of richesse.
embarras de richesse/ɒmbəˌrɑː də rɪˈʃɛs/
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