More about hoary
Hoary “tedious from familiarity” is an adjective based on the noun hoar “frost, a grayish-white,” which is of Germanic origin. Because English and German are both Germanic languages, hoary has two cognates in German—hehr “sublime, noble” and Herr “gentleman, sir, mister”—that show a shift in definition from gray hair alone to words of respect for gray-haired individuals. From there, there are at least three possibilities for the ultimate origin of hoary: one hypothesis connects hoary to the same root for color-related words that gives rise to hue, a second option links hoary to an ancient root meaning “to shine,” and a third proposes that hoary shares a source with obscure (via Latin), shadow (via Old English), and the recent Word of the Day sciamachy (via Ancient Greek). Hoary was first recorded in English in the 1520s.