Word of the Day : November 2, 2010

psephology

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noun see-FAH-luh-jee

Definition

: the scientific study of elections

Did You Know?

"Psephology" is from the Greek word "psēphos," meaning "pebble." (One relative of "psephology" is "psephomancy," meaning "divination by pebbles.") "Psephology" merited election as the name for the work of analysts of elections, or psephologists, because pebbles were used by the ancient Greeks in voting. Similarly, the word "ballot" was an excellent choice for a means of voting since it is derived from "balla," the Italian word for "ball," and Italians placed balls in a container to cast votes.


Examples

Erin is a political science major with a particular interest in psephology.

"To help voters make up their minds, this issue contains a 20-page briefing on personality, policy and psephology." -- From an article in The Economist, April 10, 2010



Word Trivia

What word meaning "to banish" or "to exclude from a group" comes from an ancient Greek method of voting by writing a name down on a pottery fragment? The answer is ...


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