Where does the word “record” come from and What does record mean in Latin?

In the days when few could read and fewer still could write, the word record was used in its literal sense, “to get by heart; fix in the memory.”

Its remote Latin source was re, back, and cor, heart, thus denoting that anything back in the heart was fixed in the memory. The more immediate Latin was the verb recordor.

With the increase of knowledge of reading and writing, things that theretofore had been repeated from memory or fixed in the mind through repetition were reduced to writing, and record thus took on its present meanings.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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