fem. proper name, literally "gladness," from Latin laetitia "joy, exultation, rejoicing, gladness, pleasure, delight," from laetus "glad, happy; flourishing, rich," a word of unknown origin. On the assumption that "fat, rich" is the older meaning, this word has been connected to lardus "bacon" and largus "generous," but de Vaan finds this "a very artificial reconstruction." In 17c. English had a verb letificate "make joyful" (1620s), and Middle English had letification "action of rejoicing" (late 15c.).

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