Etymology
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gum (n.1)

c. 1300, "resin from dried sap of plants," from Old French gome "(medicinal) gum, resin," from Late Latin gumma, from Latin gummi, from Greek kommi "gum," from Egyptian kemai. As the name of a hardened, sweetened gelatine mixture as a candy, 1827. As a shortened form of chewing gum, first attested 1842 in American English. The gum tree (1670s) was so called for the resin it exudes. Latin gummi also is the source of German Gummi (13c.).

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gum (n.2)

"soft tissues of the mouth," Old English goma "palate, side of the mouth" (single or plural), from a Germanic source represented by Old Norse gomi "palate," Old High German goumo; related to Lithuanian gomurys "palate," and perhaps from PIE root *ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open."

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gum (v.1)

early 14c., gommen, "treat with (medicinal or aromatic) gums," from gum (n.1). In the transferred or figurative sense of "spoil, ruin" (usually with up), as if by some gummy substance, it is first recorded 1901, probably from the notion of machinery becoming clogged. Related: Gummed; gumming.

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gum (v.2)

of infants, toothless adults, etc., "to chew or gnaw (something) with the gums," by 1907, from gum (n.2). Related: Gummed; gumming.

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bubble-gum (n.)

"chewing gum that can be blown in bubbles," 1935, from bubble (n.) + gum (n.). Figurative of young teenager tastes or culture from the early 1960s.

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gum-drop (n.)

also gumdrop, type of confection, 1856, from gum (n.1) + drop (n.).

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chicle (n.)

"elastic substance obtained from a tropical American tree, formerly used in the manufacture of chewing-gum," 1877, American English (in chicle-gum), from Mexican Spanish chicle, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) tzictli.

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Nicorette (n.)

proprietary name of a nicotine chewing gum used to reduce the urge to smoke, 1980, from nicotine + cigarette.

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mastic (n.)

gum or resin obtained from certain small trees of the Mediterranean region, late 14c., mastik, from Old French mastic (13c.) and directly from Late Latin mastichum, from Latin mastiche, from Greek mastikhe, a word of uncertain origin, probably related to masasthai "to chew" (see mastication). The substance is used as a chewing gum in the East.

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chew (v.)

Old English ceowan "to bite, gnaw, chew," from West Germanic *keuwwan (source also of Middle Low German keuwen, Dutch kauwen, Old High German kiuwan, German kauen), perhaps from PIE *gyeu- "to chew" (source also of Old Church Slavonic živo "to chew," Lithuanian žiaunos "jaws," Persian javidan "to chew").

Figurative sense of "to think over" is from late 14c.; to chew the rag "discusss some matter" is from 1885, apparently originally British army slang. Related: Chewed; chewing. To chew (someone) out (1948) probably is military slang from World War II. Chewing-gum is by 1843, American English, originally hardened secretions of the spruce tree.

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