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…

By | 2016-10-18T15:49:59+00:00 May 4th, 2007|Words|3 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Annony Mouse May 5, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Which would mean, SHE!

  2. Sarah May 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    and Candida?

  3. céline May 8, 2007 at 8:50 am

    Sarah, have you got a paranormal gift? It was actually the combination of the election, of receiving the book and hearing a close friend was suffering from Candida that led to this entry. I didn’t include Candida in it, however, because although I did find that Candida also came from Latin Candidus, I couldn’t find out why, and also because it seemed a bit weird to talk about my friend’s disease… which I’ve done now. And it’s a bit weird. Back to work.

Comments are closed.