Gray Area | Phrase Definition, Origin & Examples

Interesting fact about Gray Area

Scholars are uncertain of the exact origin of the idiom ‘gray area.’ What is known is that the term ‘gray,’ describing the color gray, originates from the Old English ‘græg’ and was first used sometime around the 12th century. The word ‘area,’ denoting a space, comes from the Latin ‘area’ and was not used until the 1530s. The generic sense of the word ‘area’ as something undefined or unspecific didn’t come into being until about 1845, so it is probable that the idiom ‘gray area’ was coined sometime after that.

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