garrote (n.)

also garrotte, 1620s, "Spanish method of capital punishment by strangulation," from Spanish garrote "stick for twisting cord" (the method used in the execution), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Old French guaroc "club, stick, rod, shaft of a crossbow," probably ultimately Celtic, but possibly from Frankish *wrokkan "to twist" (cognate with Middle Dutch wroken "to twist").

I have no hesitation in pronouncing death by the garrot, at once the most manly, and the least offensive to the eye. [Major John Richardson, "British Legion," 1837]

garrote (v.)

"to execute with a garrote," 1845, from garrote (n.); sense of "choke senseless and then rob" is from 1852. Related: Garotted; garotting.

updated on September 25, 2018