action displaying heroic courage
I’ve used this word a few times in the past week, in a silly sort of way. It’s impossible for me to use this word seriously. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the current meaning of the word is based on a mistake. Apparently, the words dorrying do, meaning “daring to do” in a Chaucer text, were later misprinted as derryinge do, which Edmund Spenser (centuries after Chaucer) misinterpreted to mean manhood or chivalry. Sir Walter Scott took this meaning and ran with it.