A requested word! Manifesto, meaning "a public declaration of political ideas," actually used to mean "to apprehend". The farthest back it can be traced is the Proto-Indo-European word man, meaning "hand". You can see how this appears unchanged in the prefix of the name, but it's actually gone through quite a couple alterations. It Latin this word eventually became manus, "that of the hand" or "strength". As Latin aged, a bunch of words were combined randomly to make more complicated words, and someone along the line created manifestus, a combination of manus and festus, which meant "struck". Thus manifestus became "hand-struck." Eventually its definition transitioned to mean "apprehended," because one who was "apprehended" was "struck by a hand". When one is apprehended, one usually confesses, so the truth can come from being apprehended. Because of these connections, manifestus changed from "hand-struck" to mean "elucidate or make clear". As many Latin words did, this stayed in the area to become the Italian term manifesto, now describing the handy, striking, and elucidating declarations of a political party. This eventually passed into English, with the same definition and spelling.
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.