Words-Worth - Gold

The marketeers like 'gold'. Perhaps the word has the Midas touch.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Its meanings are legion. It's a precious metal, notable for the yellow colour that gave it its name ('gold' and 'yellow' were the same word in our Germanic past). The value of all things 'gold' or 'golden' can be literal: hence 'golden' parachutes, handshakes, hellos and handcuffs; the 'gold record', introduced in 1957 in recognition of sales worth $1 million; and Gold Blend, a pale Nescafe with aspirations. Or the meaning can be metaphorical, as in Shakespeare's 'heart of gold'. Today, though, 'gold' is more often a euphemism for 'old'. UK Gold, for instance, shows old programmes, while 'golden' companies and products target the mature. The old-equals-gold equation stems perhap from the 1966 Beatles compilation, A Collection of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies), and DJ patter. A nice rhyme, it may relate to the 'old gold' colour (come on, you Wolves). As The Who's Pete Townshend might have put it: 'Hope I die before I turn gold.'

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