"Feud" v "Feudal": Sound is not Meaning
David Friedman at his appropriately entitled blog “Ideas” compares contemporary patent litigation with feudal warfare.
- feudal (adj.)
- 1610s, from Medieval Latin feudalis, from feudum "feudal estate," of Germanic origin (cf. Gothic faihu "property," Old High German fihu "cattle;" see fee). Related to Middle English feodary "one who holds lands of an overlord in exchange for service" (late 14c.).
- feud (n.)
- c.1300, fede "enmity, hatred, hostility," northern English and Scottish; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old French fede, from Old High German fehida "contention, quarrel, feud," from Proto-Germanic *faihitha noun of state from adj. *faiho- (cf. Old English fæhð "enmity," fah "hostile;" German Fehde "feud;" Old Frisian feithe "enmity;" see foe). Sense of "vendetta" is early 15c. Alteration of spelling in 16c. is unexplained.
- (Both from the Online Etymology Dictionary)