Thursday, January 8, 2009

What's a campus?

I have the word campus on my mind, as I will soon be "on campus," several days a week.

It's odd that a word so familiar can suddenly look strange. Campus is the Latin word for field. The Oxford English Dictionary traces its history in English to Princeton University, 1774, citing John Freylinghusen Hageman's History of Princeton and Its Institutions (1879). Hageman quotes a January 1774 letter by Charles C. Beatty (class of '75):

Tea parties! Effigies! The kids today!

[Image courtesy of Google Book Search.]

comments: 2

Pete said...

There's a small farm town in central Illinois called Campus. I'd love to know how that name was chosen.

Michael Leddy said...

Pop. 145, according to Wikipedia.