If you're like me, you enjoy knowing the origins of words. It can be surprising, and sometimes amusing, to see how a word or a phrase evolved into its present-day usage.
With a big change happening in our country this week, I wondered about the origins of "inauguration."
The word dates to 1569, from the French inauguration (no change there at all), which means "installation, consecration." The French word is derived from the Latin inaugurationem, meaning "consecration, installment under good omens," and from inaugurare meaning "take omens from the flight of birds, consecrate or install when such omens are favorable." Its Latin roots are in- "on, in" + augurare "to act as an augur, predict."
I didn't hear of a multitude of birds flying around Washington, D.C. this week, but let's hope that recent events augur well for our country!