Gothic ~ Sadness Relationship

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by ancalimon, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. ancalimon Senior Member

    As far as I know, Gothic is originally an architecture style related with Goth people. But today there is a subculture among the youth named goth aka: gothic. As far as I know, that is somehow related with sadness, unhappiness. In Turkic we have a word "gada" meaning "unhappiness, sadness, grief, sorrow, gloominess, anxiety" and there was work of famous Sumerologist Benna Landsberger regarding the ethnic identity of Gutians. They were regarded as a Turkic people named Kut~Gut. A. von Gabain and László Rásony also supported this work. Gut ~ Kut also for some reason means the opposite of unhappy, sad. It has meanings like "vigorous, wild, enthusiastic".

    There is also this:
    What I wonder is that if there is a link between Goths and Gutians and whether there is any work regarding this.

    Apart from my other curiosities, how did the word Goth got its "sad, unhappy" meaning?
  2. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    The Goths were a bunch of ancient Germanic people who gave the Romans a pretty hard time. Since they were heavily involved in the fall of the Roman Empire, sacking Rome and whatnot, they have been thought of in various stages of history as the people who destroyed civilisation. The Middle-Ages (a poor name for that period of time, but there you go) is called so because it's perceived to a period of darkness between two periods of civilisation, namely the classical antiquity and the renaissance. So, by the renaissance, as artistic tastes shifted, medieval architecture came to be seen as belonging to a barbaric age, and so was labelled "Gothic".
    In the 18th and 19th centuries a genre of literature sprung up which made heavy use of Gothic buildings; ruined castles, cathedrals and the like. This genre was therefore called "Gothic literature" and, spanning across the romantic and Victorian periods in literature, it's perhaps not surprising that it made good use of melodrama and romance. This is probably where the idea of sadness comes in.
    During the 1980s a genre of rock music emerged which drew heavily on the imagery of Gothic literature. This genre of music was subsequently called "Goth rock" and it's adherents were called "Goths".
    In the 1990s another genre of music emerged called "Gothic metal". I believe this name derives from the 1991 album by Paradise Lost called Gothic, and is not related to Goth rock. Gothic metal also draws much imagery from Gothic literature.

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