Just Desert


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Text Version

The word ‘desert’, as in “to get what is coming to you”, has been used in English since around the 13th century. This word, however, has fallen out of common usage and now, outside of the idiom “just desert”, is almost never used.

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  • It’s spelled “dessert”, a “desert” is a hot, dry, and sandy place. 😉

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Bubba: Actually that is a common misconception; the expression is in fact “just deserts”. While a desert is a “hot, dry, and sandy place”, it also means something like “deserve”, which is actually where the word deserve derived from (desert). You can read more about that here.

  • that is what you get for being snarky

  • According to the OED, this is false. The one’s whose etymology you speak of is from Old French “deservir”, the other’s is from Latin “desertare”/”desertus” (as in the noun desert). Latin, as you know, is older than French.