Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Kevin Beach, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. "Affidavit" is a legal English word meaning "sworn written statement".

    In its structure, it poses as the third person singular perfect tense of a Latin verb "affidare". However, I can find no reference to that verb in classical or medieval Latin resources. I know there is a modern Italian verb "affidare", but that doesn't explain the English use.

    Can anybody point me to anything that suggests that "affidavit" may have a more honourable origin than dog Latin? It's almost as though somebody wanted to create a Latin word to express "he faith'd".
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Which medieval Latin resources did you consult? It was evidently in rather common use (Du Cange: "Occurrit passim"). The OED gives (s.v. †affy) "< post-classical Latin affidare to pledge faith (11th cent.; frequently from 12th cent. in British sources), to betroth (11th cent.; frequently from 13th cent. in British sources)".
  3. Thank you! That one passed me by.

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