I’ve never really paused to think about the word audition before…but it turns out, its modern meaning is not where it began.

When you look at the word and note the audi- root, you’ll realize that it’s linked to the act of hearing or listening, like audio. So it makes sense that the original meaning of the word, from the 1590s, was “a hearing.” But it carried more of a legal sense–a court hearing, or some other event where the act of listening was the crucial thing.

The sense we most associate with the word today, of a performer doing a trial run for judges, didn’t come around the 1880s! And even then, it was only a noun. You would go to an audition…but audition as a verb only dates from the 1930s!

Have you ever gone on an audition? I have, for both music and theater, in my middle and high school days. Happy to say I always landed a part, though the nerves, man…the nerves! 😉

Word Nerds Unite!

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