Jealous/envious
Posted: 09 January 2008 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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"Jealous”, in my experience, is mostly used these days as a synonym for “envious”.  Can someone with an OED let me know how old this usage is?

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Posted: 09 January 2008 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Over 500 years.

[4] b. in respect of success or advantage: Apprehensive of losing some desired benefit through the rivalry of another; feeling ill-will towards another on account of some advantage or superiority which he possesses or may possess; grudging, envious. Const. of (the person, or the advantage).
c1385 CHAUCER L.G.W. Prol. 331 Ffor hate or for Ielous ymagynyng. c1477 CAXTON Jason 32 Alle were ialous of him. But Iason neuer thought on none of them.

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Posted: 09 January 2008 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Interesting, thought it was much younger than that.  Found this when checking etymologies to see how we’ve ended up with two words for the same thing:

“Most of the words for ‘envy’ ... had from the outset a hostile force, based on ‘look at’ (with malice), ‘not love,’ etc. Conversely, most of those which became distinctive terms for ‘jealousy’ were originally used also in a good sense, ‘zeal, emulation.’ “ [Buck, pp.1138-9]

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