Have you ever wondered how the phrase “trimming the tree” came to be? For some reason I started thinking about this last week and what popped into my head first when talking about “trimming” was cutting. But of course, that’s not what we mean when we “trim” our Christmas tree. I wondered how long that use of the word has been around and where it came from. So I looked it up and thought I would share what I learned. ‘Tis the season after all.
According to Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “trim” can be traced back to the Old English words trymman, which means to strengthen or make ready and trum, which means strong, stable. The latter is thought to come from the Proto-Germanic (prehistoric ancestor of all Germanic languages) word trumaz. The use of “trim” to mean to make neat by cutting can be traced back to the 1520s. “Trim” as in to adorn or decorate (as in “trimmed with fur”) was recorded as far back as the 1540s.
So now you know.
I find all of this so fascinating. 🙂