The Word “Tragedy” Comes from an Ancient Greek Word Meaning “Goat Song”

While “tragedy” is the word we use for a terrible event or a sad outcome, it has roots from the Middle English word “tragedie,” which can be traced back to Medieval Latin’s “tragēdia” and the Latin “tragoedia.” That word originates from the ancient Greek word “tragōidía,” meaning “goat song,” according to Oxford Dictionaries.

A commonly accepted theory for the etymology is that Greek tragedies were known as goat-songs because the prize in Athenian play competitions was a live goat.