One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: secret, hidden. In later use: that has a sense of shame; modest, seemly.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Bullein (c1515–1576), physician. From classical Latin pudent-, pudēns modest, decent, use as adjective of present participle of pudēre to make ashamed, to be ashamed, of uncertain origin.
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