|The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo|
Verb trans. Past tense begot, begat (archaic), present participle begetting, past participle begotten
[Old English begietan, corresp. Old Saxon bigetan seize, Old High German bigezzen receive = Gothic bigetan find]
1. archaic Get, acquire, esp. by effort. OE-E17
2. Procreate (usually said of the father, occasionally of both parents). ME
2B. Get with child. LME-E17
3. fig. Call into being, occasion; give rise to. L16
Beget is a funny word. It sounds oddly euphemistic, though it isn't. When the Bible says: "Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Judas," (and so forth for another fifteen verses of rampant begetting), it means exactly what it says, which is a far cry from the quintessential Biblical euphemism: "And Adam knew Eve."
Oh, and each time I've said to someone what I'm writing about, I've had to clarify: "No not baguette - beget."