These days, when people say science, they have a particular thing in mind, right? Chemistry, biology, anatomy, physics, etc. But did you know that science used to be a far more general term?
The word dates from the 14th century, from the French word of the exact same spelling, and it meant broadly “what is known; knowledge acquired by study; information.” The French, in turn, came from the Latin scientia, which means “a knowing, knowledge, expertness.” This most likely came from scire, which means “to divide; differentiate.”
Back in the 1300s, this word was used for general book-learning. By the end of the century, it was that learning especially gained by observation. The modern, restricted sense of science didn’t come along until the mid 1700s and was commonly called philosophy as well.
Don’t forget that tonight I’ll be chatting on Facebook Live about the inspiration and behind-the-scenes of Giver of Wonders! Hope to see you all there at 7 p.m. Eastern. =)
How interesting! It's so cool to find out how words have changed over time and just sort of seem to adopt new meanings.