We all know what reveal and revelation mean, of course…and they have been in the English language for a LONG time. Like, since the early 1400s. The meaning has never really changed either–it’s always been “to disclose, to divulge, to make known.”
What’s interesting is actually the Latin root. The Latin revelare also carries the same meaning, but it is literally “to unveil.” Velare is the “to veil” part (no surprise, right?) and the re here isn’t the usual “again” but the rarer use of “opposite of.” We don’t see the re- prefix used like that very often!
And I love this imagery, don’t you? That something being revealed isn’t just shown or made known, it’s literally unveiled. Because that’s how it always feels when we discover something–that a mask or curtain has been pulled away, leaving us with that beautiful “Ta da!” moment of discovery.