The word ga•on is close to the root GA.AH, which means to overflow, to be proud or to feel superior. You notice how thin the border is between the positive and negative aspects of this root. The female form of the word is either ‘ge•o•na’ or ‘ge•o•nit.’
Today’s word, if spoken to someone, is a great compliment. Although IQ tests may help to identify geniuses, we normally don’t use them to spot one. You surely recall the feeling when someone does or says something that leaves you feeling astonished or relieved, after finally having the answer you were helplessly looking for on your own. You feel like hugging this person and saying: “Wow, you are a genius!” This context of ga•on is more common in the modern Hebrew of our days than the biblical Hebrew.
The word ga•on is mentioned in the Bible about 40 times; but its meanings can be so different that you need to read the verse carefully to figure out whether it means excellency and majesty, or pride and conceit.
Biblical Examples of gaon as excellency
“Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency; and array yourself with glory and beauty”
“In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for those of Israel who have escaped”
Biblical Examples of gaon as pride
“The Lord of Hosts has purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth”
“Thus says the Lord, ‘After this manner will I spoil the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem'”