8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary
1562, from Middle French Huguenot, according to French sources originally political, not religious. The name was applied in 1520s to Genevan partisans opposed to the Duke of Savoy (who joined Geneva to the Swiss Confederation), and it is probably an alteration of Swiss German Eidgenoss "confederate," from Middle High German eitgenoze, from eit "oath" + genoze "comrade" (related to Old English geneat "comrade, companion"). The form of the French word probably altered by association with Hugues Besançon, leader of the Genevan partisans. In France, applied generally to French Protestants because Geneva was a Calvinist center.