• An ornate style of architecture, usually employed in exterior house trim, and common in the United States during the 19th century.


Origin & History of “gingerbread”

The idea that gingerbread does not much resemble bread is entirely justified by the word’s history. For originally it was gingebras (a borrowing from Old French), and it meant ‘preserved ginger’. By the mid-14th century, by the process known as folk etymology (the substitution of a more for a less familiar form), -bread had begun to replace -bras, and it was only a matter of time (the early 15th century, apparently) before sense followed form.

The expression ‘take the gilt off the gingerbread’ (not recorded before the late 19th century) comes from the fact that formerly gingerbread was often decorated with gold leaf.