candide2
I couldn’t resist buying this superb new English translation of Voltaire‘s Candide, one of my all-time favourite books. I’ve been reading about the presidential candidates all week, following their progress in anticipation of the final round on Sunday, and I wondered whether "candidate" and "candid" shared a common ancestry, although it isn’t obvious at first what might link these two words.
I found that they both come from the Latin word candere (to be shining white), which gave candidus (glowing, white, pure, guileless), hence candid (open, sincere), then candidatus (clothed in white, in reference to the white togas worn by those seeking office in Ancient Rome), hence "candidate". May the more candid candidate win…