Republican voters say they want a gutsier GOP, but the candidate they’d choose doesn’t come with a “guts” moniker.
That’s the case when voters identify the Republican nominee by name: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, or Rick Perry.
But when they say he or she is “gutsy,” voters don’t exactly have the guy pegged. The word appears seven times in the popular dictionary (at least). And it’s not always negative.
Voters are expressing both approval and disapproval by favoring candidates with the word “guts.”
The word “guts” is used seven times in the popular dictionary (at least).
But how many voters actually know what the word means?
The word’s origin is from the English verb “gota” meaning “to have.” The OED dates it back to 1798, in the form of “to have a guts.”
But the word was used a half century before that to mean “a vigorous person or body.”
The OED defines “guts” as “having energy, courage, resourcefulness, resource, or force or potency.”
That definition is pretty much what you see most of the time: “having guts.”
But it’s the “energy” or “courage” or “potency” that seems to be the focus of some of the most popular of the word’s uses in the popular usage today.
“Guts” appears almost twice as often as “courage” or “energy” in the popular dictionary.
Here are the three words most often used to describe candidates:
Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry.