DID YOU PUNCH THE BURSAR?
The word bursar, which refers to the treasurer of a university, was introduced in the late sixteenth century as burser. It was occasionally spelled bursor or bourser, but bursar became the standard in the late eighteenth century and usage has remained constant since. The term comes from Latin bursa, which meant "purse" and is also the root of our English words purse, bourse (a type of stock exchange), and bursitis (a type of joint inflammation; the connection is that it makes giant purse-like stacks swell up). That comes from an Ancient Greek sounding the same and meaning "hide", because that's what early purses were made of. One interesting note I have is that Google search frequency of the word bursar spikes every August and January - when people pay for college enrollment, I suppose.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.