A Valentine as a sweetheart, lover, or special friend was first written about c 1450. Originally, it meant such a person chosen, drawn by lot, or otherwise determined for the upcoming year. Valentine as a card (c 1553) was at first a folded paper inscribed with the name of the person chosen or drawn as a valentine. By 1610, the word also referred to a gift given to the special person. The use of the word to mean “a written or printed letter or card with decoration, verse, etc. of an amorous nature” sent or given on St. Valentine’s Day began around 1824. The word can be written with an initial capital or without.