1604, short for bridegroom (“husband-to-be”), from Middle English brydgrome, alteration (with intrusive r) of earlier bridegome (“bridegroom”), from Old English brȳdguma (“bridegroom”), from brȳd (“bride”) + guma (“man, hero”). In Middle English, the second element was re-analyzed as or influenced by grom, grome (“attendant”). Guma derives from Proto-Germanic *gumô (“man, person”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰm̥mō; it is cognate to Icelandic gumi and Norwegian gume and, ultimately, human.
groom (plural grooms)
From Middle English grom, grome (“man-child, boy, youth”), of uncertain origin. Apparently related to Middle Dutch grom (“boy”), Old Icelandic grómr, gromr (“man, manservant, boy”), Old French gromme (“manservant”), from the same Proto-Germanic root. Possibly from Old English grōma, from Proto-Germanic *grōmô, related to *grōaną (“to grow”), though uncertain as *grōaną was used typically of plants; its secondary meaning being "to turn green".
Alternative etymology describes Middle English grom, grome as an alteration of gome (“man”) with an intrusive r (also found in bridegroom, hoarse, cartridge, etc.), with the Middle Dutch and Old Icelandic cognates following similar variation of their respective forms.
groom (plural grooms)
- A person who looks after horses.
- 2013 January 1, Brian Hayes, “Father of Fractals”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 62:
- Toward the end of the war, Benoit was sent off on his own with forged papers; he wound up working as a horse groom at a chalet in the Loire valley. Mandelbrot describes this harrowing youth with great sangfroid.
- One of several officers of the English royal household, chiefly in the lord chamberlain's department.
- the groom of the chamber; the groom of the stole
- A brushing or cleaning, as of a dog or horse.
- Give the mare a quick groom before you take her out.
- To attend to one's appearance and clothing.
- (transitive) To care for (horses or other animals) by brushing and cleaning them.
- (transitive) To prepare (someone) for election or appointment.
- (transitive) To prepare (a ski slope) for skiers by packing down the snow.
- (transitive) To attempt to gain the trust of (somebody, especially a minor) with the intention of subjecting them to abusive or exploitative behaviour such as sexual abuse or human trafficking.
- (transitive, software engineering) In agile software development, to review and prioritize the items in the development backlog.