Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
late Old English curs "a prayer that evil or harm befall one," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French curuz "anger," or Latin cursus "course." Connection with cross is unlikely. No similar word exists in Germanic, Romance, or Celtic. Curses as a histrionic exclamation is from 1885. The curse "menstruation" is from 1930. Curse of Scotland, the 9 of diamonds in cards, is attested from 1791, but the origin is obscure.
Old English cursian, from the source of curse (n.). Meaning "to swear profanely" is from early 13c. Related: Cursed; cursing.
denounced by God against the serpent (Gen. 3:14), and against Cain (4:11). These divine maledictions carried their effect with them. Prophetical curses were sometimes pronounced by holy men (Gen. 9:25; 49:7; Deut. 27:15; Josh. 6:26). Such curses are not the consequence of passion or revenge, they are predictions. No one on pain of death shall curse father or mother (Ex. 21:17), nor the prince of his people (22:28), nor the deaf (Lev. 19:14). Cursing God or blaspheming was punishable by death (Lev. 24:10-16). The words "curse God and die" (R.V., "renounce God and die"), used by Job's wife (Job 2:9), have been variously interpreted. Perhaps they simply mean that as nothing but death was expected, God would by this cursing at once interpose and destroy Job, and so put an end to his sufferings.