I must admit, I find humor in the fact that last week’s post covered demons & devils, & this week’s post moves to politics.
The word Election came to English in the late 1200s, from the French word elecion, meaning choice, election or selection. This term came from the Latin word electionem, whose root meant to choose, or read. I’m inclined to think that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a truly good read on candidates.
Vote entered English in the mid-1400s, & comes from the Latin word votum, a vow, wish, promise or dedication. Imagine the difference in mindset if we all envisioned each vote as a promise or vow.
The term suffrage, has always intrigued me. Suffrage came to English in the 1300s and meant prayers or pleas on behalf of another. It comes from the Latin word suffragium, which refers to the right to vote or to lend support. Prayers, pleas, & support seem to reflect a different understanding of voting, again, an understanding closer to the idea of a promise or vow. Interestingly, suffrage also suggests the elections of the past weren’t entirely sweet & light, as the word parts that add up to suffragium are sub- & -frangere, which respectively mean under & shouting.
Then there's the word ballot, which comes from the Italian word pallotte, or small ball, due to the Venetian practice of voting by casting a particular colored ball into a bowl or basket. From this we have the term to blackball.
Dear followers, please have something to say about all these election-related words. Here on Wordmonger, you can feel safe, free from shouting & blackballing.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, Etymonline.com, The OED & The Ottawa Citizen.
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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