We hear the word all over. A couple of years ago, they were being signed like they were going out of fashion; a large mortgage was akin to a large salary at the end of month. But the times have changed and in Dave Ramsey’s words, the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.
But, what does exactly mean? The word ‘mortgage’ comes from the Old French and Latin. In Latin, mori (turned into the mort- part in ‘mortgage’ in Old French) means ‘death’ and -gage means ‘pledge’. Thus the words: ‘death pledge’.
The word mortgage comes from the Old French and Latin. In Latin, mori (turned into the mort- part in mortgage in Old French) means death and -gage means pledge. Thus the words: death pledge.
I can see how, hundreds of years ago, taking on a 30 year mortgage was comparable to signing yourself into bondage for life. As Earl Wilson correctly put it, if you think nobody cares about you try missing a couple of mortgage payments. Thats the ultimate Litmus test for love.
Funny words aside, etymologically, mortgage means that the pledge dies either when the obligation is fulfilled or when payment fails and the property is repossessed.
Interestingly, the French use mutated back into hypothque, derived from the classic Greek and meaning to put something under something else.
In some countries, like France and Spain where they have a civil-law system, a mortgage is closely or even solely related to a loan against real estate or property whereas in common-law, it represents any device in which a debtor (mortgagor) conveys an interest in property to a creditor (mortgagee) as security for the payment of a money debt. The Anglo-American definition has a broader meaning than its civil-law cousin, the hypothec.