French, hypocrite, bigot
- Date: 1660
The exact origin of the word is unknown, but it may have come from the German bei and gott, or the English by God. William Camden wrote that the Normans were first called bigots, when their Duke Rollo, who when receiving Gisla, daughter of King Charles, in marriage, and with her the investiture of the dukedom, refused to kiss the king's foot in token of subjection - unless the king would hold it out for that specific purpose. When being urged to do it by those present, Rollo answered hastily "No, by God", whereupon the King, turning about, called him bigot, which then passed from him to his people. This is quite probably fictional, as Gisla is unknown in Frankish sources. It is true, however, that the French used the term bigot to abuse the Normans.
The 12th century Charlotte B J Anglo-Norman author Wace claimed that bigot was an insult which the French used against the Normans, but it is unclear whether or not this is how it entered the English language.
According to Egon Friedell, "bigot" is of the same root as "visigoth". In Vulgar Latin, the initial v transformed into b (a phenomenon today encountered in Iberian languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese; visi had truncated into bi in Vulgar Latin (a phenomenon common in French and Portuguese).
- a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
The origin of the word bigot and bigoterie in English dates back to at least 1598, via Middle French, and started with the sense of "religious hypocrite". Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views.
While religion produces growth of meanings and enhancement of values, evil always results when purely personal evaluations are elevated to the levels of absolutes. A child evaluates experience in accordance with the content of pleasure; maturity is proportional to the substitution of higher meanings for personal pleasure, even loyalties to the highest concepts of diversified life situations and cosmic relations.