"Gourmet" means "connoisseur in eating and drinking". "Gour-" means "food". So what does the "-met" mean?

  • No, gour does not mean food. The root of gourmet is gourm-, there is no break between the R and the M. Dec 24, 2013 at 11:13

2 Answers 2


Gourmet comes from Old French grommes "valet" (1352) of disputed origin. It either comes from the English grom1 "young boy" (1225) and later "valet"(1297) (hence groom), or from gourm "gorge", but lexicographer Alain Rey does not believe in the latter.

In the Middle Ages a gourmet was a valet in charge of wine transportation. It then (1458) evolved into a wine connoisseur and later (18th century) into a food connoisseur.

So, no sign of food in the etymology of gourmet.

1 Of uncertain etymology. The OED says it could come from Old English groma, related to "grow", or from Old French gromet !


Gourmet comes from Old French grommes "valet".

But "Gourmand" means "he likes to eat" and especially "he likes to eat a lot"

"Gourmet" means "he likes to eat" and especially "he likes to eats fine dining, and searchs delicacy and refinement", but this evolution comes from an influence of two words "un gourmand" and "un met".

"Un mets" is a fine dining but, etymologically, this isn't this "met" in "gourmet".

  • Oh yes ! Thanks mouviciel. Mea culpa ! I can't edit my explanation. Dec 19, 2013 at 8:13
  • 1
    "Gourmet" and "gourmand" don't have the same etymology as your post could lead to believe. "Gourmand" has also a disputed etymology and the possible focal point would be gourme, which Alain Rey dismisses. Both words existed alongside for centuries with different meanings ("gourmand" meaning s.o. who eats with excess) and it's only in the 17th century that "gourmand" acquired the meaning of someone who likes to eat fine food.
    – None
    Dec 19, 2013 at 8:23

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