Fake Etymologies

Interesting is better than true.

can‧di‧date, n. /kændɪˌdeɪt/

Named for a custom first referenced in Sir Thomas Mallory’s adaptation of the Celtic legend “Tristan and Iseult” in his work Le Morte Darthur. In it, Sir Tristan gives sweets to Princess Iseult, the woman with whom he has inadvertently fallen in love. The adaptation eventually became a basis of the Western notion of romance, and it was thus de rigueur for a man to have a brief social outing with a woman in order to ply her with candy and declare his eligibility as a romantic interest. These were known as “candy-dates,” and the term came to apply to all forms of eligibility.