Etymology

deriving from the Greek for 'true' (eteos/etymos) and 'word' (logos)

Curious about the origin of a word or term? Send it to us and we shall go forth and investigate.

In honour of the looming IPEd exam, we thought we'd take a look at the word 'invigilate' for this month's Etymology.

The Latin word from which it takes its meaning, invigilare, means 'to stay awake/be watchful', a quality certainly required of our IPEd invigilators, although may I say needlessly so, because future AEs would surely not ever consider cheating on an exam - they are, after all, editors.

The word entered the English language in the mid-sixteenth century, but it became obsolete until 1892, when it re-emerged solely in its current sense (to invigilate at an exam).

Personally I think it's a shame for such a cool-sounding word to be used only in the context of exams - it feels a bit wasted, doesn't it?

Maja Vatri?