The most common use of the word bold is “courageous, stout hearted and daring” (1). Another form of the word bold is in its verb form, meaning “to make bold or to become bold, grow strong or big” (3). But of course, the word bold is primarily used as an adjective to describe someone who is bold. There is actually one other definition of the word bold that the general public does not know about. Bold can also mean a “dwelling habitation or a building” (2). This definition comes from the old English word bold which came from the Old Saxon word bodl. There are no modern usages of this definition; however, there are many German usages of the word for it came from the Old High German word bodam.
The origin of the word stems back to the Germanic word balþo-z. It was known in Old English as beald and bald in Anglican. The original uses of the word bold stems from the use of names such as Archibald, Leopold, Theobald, all of which include the old English or Anglican form of the word boldness. Hence, the word is most often used to describe someone courageous or daring. Although the word bold is generally a positive term to describe a person, there is also a negative connotation to the word bold. It can mean audacious, presumptuous, and too forward describing someone who is selfish or even pompous.
Today, the word bold is used in many different forms. Two of the most notable examples is found in typography. Because the human eye is very receptive to differences in brightness within a body of text, the different types of emphasis on text changes the blackness of a text, which changes the way that the eye normally perceives light from the text, and makes the bolded areas more noticeable—like the way the word bold is bolded throughout this gloss. Of course, by making the text darker, one is making it more striking or conspicuous to the eye, which labels the text as bold. The other notable usage of the word is used for things flashy to the eye or standing out from the norm. This is predominantly used in design where a bold use of colours can be using neon greens or oranges rather than the simple black and white colour palette.
1. "bold, adj.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://http://www.oed.com/view/Entry /21056(accessed November 21, 2012).
2. "bold, n.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://http://www.oed.com/view/Entry /21055(accessed November 21, 2012).
3. "bold, v.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://http://www.oed.com/view/Entry /21057(accessed November 21, 2012).