Crush, squeeze and mash

This week my friend posted me a link to a silly article called ‘what your book crush says about you’. Instead of boring you about my school day crush on Hamlet, I wondered where the word ‘crush’ came from and looked it up. However to my horror the dictionary was no help and I had to do more searching.

Its meaning seems to be linked with ‘crush’ as to squeeze or compress. I can see this link, maybe coming from wanting to hold someone really close? A newspaper article suggests it might have come from the word ‘mash’. Mashed meant flirtation and because of the similar common meaning between mash and crush it’s suggested crush might have developed from here. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer to where crush came from. Are there any other examples of similar meaning words other than other than mashed, squeeze (meaning your partner) or crush? It’s strange that these violent sounding words relate to love. Do they hold connotations of compression (perhaps reflecting someone being too clingy?) or just wanting a hug someone tightly?

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