Old English talente, talentan (as a unit of weight), from Latin talenta, plural of talentum ‘weight, sum of money’, from Greek talanton . talent (sense 1) is a figurative use with biblical allusion to the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14–30)
never before did i realize that the sense of talent as a ‘special gift or ability’ comes from that parable
The use of the word “talent” to mean “gift or skill” in English and other languages originated from an interpretation of this parable sometime late in the 13th century – Wikipedia
— i mean, i think i should’ve been told — or found out on my own — long ago, because i am curious: what did they say when they wanted someone with talent, before the parable?
i just checked. Talent is one of those words that is the same in many languages . . . i assume those languages touched by Latin (Talentum) . . . were they also touched by christianity? was that a necessary step to this new, abstract concept as ‘talent’?
‘Talent’ is not a mere coinage, but the fruit of intentional literary technique, the metaphor that the ability of a human is quantifiable and valuable (able to valuated). Who else could do, has done this? Hazard a guess that would include Shakespeare, O’Henry, Dickens, and oops, let me add P.G. Wodehouse?
I already resolved that every poem should be an experiment,
but now i see, over and above that
every metaphor should make a new word (and a new concept)
not by portmonteau
but by expanding the meaning of the facial word