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beholden - Word of the Day - Wed Jun 29, 2022




beholden -  (adj) - being under obligation for a favor or gift: indebted

Pay Me Back Come On GIF by Kim's Convenience


Beware of accepting gifts from salesman, as it makes your brain feel beholden to them, and it makes you more likely to respond in kind through reciprocity.


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Nerd Time:  Beholden is an English medieval term meaning obligation.  I suspect that it originated as a term used by feudal lords and kings to describe their relationships in the feudal system.  It is now used as a synonym for indebted.  

drew barrymore knight GIF by NETFLIX

Ceremonies of importance such as pledging loyalty to nobles and kings during feudal times were done in public with many witnesses to confirm the pledge.  The word beholden was probably derived from behold, meaning to see.  The public pledge was the binding oral contract between the two parties delineating the rights and responsibilities of each to the other.  

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