The term “start” has roots in the Old English word “styrtan,” meaning “to leap up” or “to jump.”


1. Old English

  • Word: styrtan
  • Meaning: To leap up, to jump

2. Middle English (c. 12th to 15th century CE)

  • Term: sterten
  • Meaning:
  • To move suddenly or quickly.
  • To begin or commence abruptly.
  • Derived from: Old English styrtan

3. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

  • Term: Start
  • Meaning:
  • To begin or commence.
  • To set out on a journey or course of action.


The word “start” originates from the Old English word “styrtan,” which meant “to leap up” or “to jump.” Over time, it evolved into Middle English “sterten” and eventually Modern English “start,” retaining its fundamental meaning of beginning or commencing abruptly or setting out on a journey or course of action.