Myth: the word â€œnewsâ€ derives from the four cardinal directions.
While this potential origin of the word news seems plausible enough, it isnâ€™t true. The truth is, the word news can be traced back to late Middle English around the 14th century as a plural for the adjective â€œnewâ€ or â€œnew thingâ€. This is a somewhat rare instance of an English adjective becoming a noun when made plural. Making this leap from â€œnewâ€ to â€œnewsâ€ in English is thought to have been influenced by the Old French â€œnouveauâ€, meaning â€œnewâ€. â€œNouveauâ€ in its plural feminine form becomes the noun â€œnouvellesâ€, meaning â€œnewsâ€.
Before the 14th century, instead of using the word â€œnewsâ€, English speakers typically used the word â€œtidingsâ€, more or less meaning the â€œannouncement of an eventâ€. This Middle English version started before the 11th century and stems from the Old English term â€œtidungâ€ meaning â€œEvent, occurrence, or a piece of newsâ€.