Where did we get the term "cheat"?
#126161. Asked by star_gazer. (Jun 11 12 4:23 PM)
1325-75; Middle English chet (noun) (aphetic for achet, variant of eschet escheat); cheten to escheat, derivative of chet (noun)
late 14c., "forfeited property," from cheat (v.). Meaning "a deceptive act" is from 1640s.
mid-15c., aphetic of O.Fr. escheat, legal term for revision of property to the state when the owner dies without heirs, lit. "that which falls to one," pp. of escheoir "befall by chance, happen, devolve," from V.L. *excadere "to fall away," from L. ex- "out" + cadere "to fall" (see case (1)). Also cf. escheat. The royal officers evidently had a low reputation. Meaning evolved through "confiscate" (mid-15c.) to "deprive unfairly" (1580s). To cheat on (someone) "be sexually unfaithful" first recorded 1934. Related: Cheated; cheating.
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