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#122465 - 02/09/04 04:39 PM pupil
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Can anyone tell me how "pupil" came to mean aperture of iris of eye, and a child attending school? The roots are t;he same.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Definition: \Pu"pil\, n. [F. pupille, n. fem., L. pupilla the pupil of
the eye, originally dim. of pupa a girl. See {Puppet}, and
cf. {Pupil} a scholar.] (Anat.)
The aperture in the iris; the sight, apple, or black of the
eye. See the Note under {Eye}, and {Iris}.

{Pin-hole pupil} (Med.), the pupil of the eye when so
contracted (as it sometimes is in typhus, or opium
poisoning) as to resemble a pin hole. --Dunglison.

\Pu"pil\, n. [F. pupille, n. masc. & fem., L. pupillus,
pupilla, dim. of pupus boy, pupa girl. See {Puppet}, and cf.
{Pupil} of the eye.]
1. A youth or scholar of either sex under the care of an
instructor or tutor.

Too far in years to be a pupil now. --Shak.

Tutors should behave reverently before their pupils.

2. A person under a guardian; a ward. --Dryden.

3. (Civil Law) A boy or a girl under the age of puberty, that
is, under fourteen if a male, and under twelve if a

Syn: Learner; disciple; tyro. -- See {Scholar}.

#122466 - 02/13/04 08:07 AM Re: pupil
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I have vague memories stirring of it being something to do with being able to see a tiny reflection of oneself in the pupil of somebody else's eye


#122467 - 02/13/04 10:13 PM Re: pupil
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
From Origins A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English:

pupil pupa has dim pupillus (m), pupilla (f), which in L Law, came to designate a child, esp an orphan child, in the charge of a guardian or of a tutor, whence the sense "young scholar": whence MF-F pupille, orig in the L legal sense: whence E pupil. The L derivative adj pupillaris yeilds pupillary. L pupilla also denoted the pupil of the eye, "so named because of the tiny image reflected there" (E & M)

#122468 - 02/19/04 10:54 AM Re: pupil
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
Here's one for Ron... :)



? Pupillary nature.
In quot. with punning allusion to the pupils of the eyes.

1761 Sterne Tr. Shandy iv. i, What can he mean by the lambent pupilability of slow, low, dry chat, five notes below the natural tone+unless+the voice+forces the eyes to approach not only within six inches of each other—but to look into the pupils?


#122469 - 02/19/04 02:22 PM Re: pupil
maahey Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
pupilabilty -

Came across a Couric creation - trepidacious. Used in an interview with Hilary Clinton yesterday. Surely this form doesnt exist, does it? Or *does it in some archaic form

#122470 - 02/19/04 03:05 PM Re: pupil
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
But, but, trepid just looks so, I dunno, incomplete.

#122471 - 02/19/04 03:47 PM Re: pupil
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Trepidacious is a mis-spelling. Trepidatious would be close to etymology. Not in M-W dictionary.
Here's closest word:
Main Entry: trep·i·da·tion
Pronunciation: "tre-p&-'dA-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin trepidation-, trepidatio, from trepidare to tremble, from trepidus agitated; probably akin to Old English thrafian to urge, push, Greek trapein to press grapes
1 archaic : a tremulous motion : TREMOR
2 : timorous uncertain agitation : APPREHENSION
synonym see FEAR

#122472 - 02/19/04 03:52 PM Re: pupil
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
The onliest dictionary onelook shows having trepidacious (the spelling suggested if you enter 'trepidatious') is:


Worthless Word For The Day

which offers

(overwrought word for) trepid'

#122473 - 02/19/04 04:33 PM Re: trepidacious
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
yeah, this is one of the words suggested to me by the current webmaster at OneLook® as being woefully in need of coverage, because of all the (mis)hits they were getting for it. also see confusticate..

here's what I sent out at the time:
the worthless word for the day is: trepidacious

fearful; agitated; trembling: trepid

this neologism has yet to be recognized by
lexicographers; in fact it is on the Vocabula
Review's Worst Words list -- but it gets a few
hundred Google® hits, and lots of folks attempt to
look it up at OneLook®. [actually, trepidatious does get more googlets]

I'd say, if you need something that means not intrepid,
and can't bear fearful, why not go back to the root?
trepid is a far better choice in many ways.

#122474 - 02/19/04 05:39 PM Re: pupil
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
So trepidation is backformed from winemaking? =/ I'da never guessed.

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