Origin of west
Related Words for go westquit, depart, bolt, escape, vacate, flee, forsake, betray, fly, relinquish, tergiversate, abscond, resign, light, jilt, renounce, maroon, walk, leave, decamp
- to be lost or destroyed irrevocably
- to die
Word Origin for west
noun the West
- that part of the US lying approximately to the west of the Mississippi
- (during the Colonial period) the region outside the 13 colonies, lying mainly to the west of the Alleghenies
- of or denoting the western part of a specified country, area, etc
- (as part of a name)the West Coast
19c. British idiom for "die, be killed" (popularized during World War I), "probably from thieves' slang, wherein to go west meant to go to Tyburn, hence to be hanged, though the phrase has indubitably been influenced by the setting of the sun in the west." [Partridge]
Old English west "in or toward the west," from Proto-Germanic *wes-t- (cf. Old Norse vestr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch west, Old High German -west, only in compounds, German west), from PIE *wes- (source of Greek hesperos, Latin vesper "evening, west"), perhaps an enlarged form of root *we- "to go down" (cf. Sanskrit avah "downward"), and thus literally "direction in which the sun sets." Cf. also High German dialectal abend "west," literally "evening."
French ouest, Spanish oeste are from English. West used in geopolitical sense from World War I (Britain, France, Italy, as opposed to Germany and Austria-Hungary); as contrast to Communist Russia (later to the Soviet bloc) it is first recorded in 1918. West Indies is recorded from 1550s.
Die, as in He declared he wasn't ready to go west just yet. This expression has been ascribed to a Native American legend that a dying man goes to meet the setting sun. However, it was first recorded in a poem of the early 1300s: “Women and many a willful man, As wind and water have gone west.”
see go west.