Word Origin & History
O.E. lað "hostile, repulsive," from P.Gmc. *laithaz (cf. O.Fris. leed, O.N. leiðr "hateful, hostile, loathed;" M.Du. lelijc, Du. leelijk "ugly;" O.H.G. leid "sorrowful, hateful, offensive, grievous," Ger. Leid "sorrow;" Fr. laid "ugly," from Frankish *laid). Weakened meaning "averse, disinclined"
is attested from late 14c. Loath to depart, a line from some long-forgotten song, is recorded since 1580s as a generic term expressive of any tune played at farewells, the sailing of a ship, etc.