Psephology is the subfield of political science concerned with the scientific study of elections. The term was coined by Oxford historian R.B. McCallum, who was really annoyed at people saying electionology (he didn't like how it combined Greek and Latin components) and wanted something to replace it. For this, McCallum turned to the Ancient Greek word psephizein, which meant "to vote". This in turn comes from psephos, a noun meaning "pebble"; the connection is that the Greeks voted by using pebbles as ballots. Psephos comes from psao, a verb for "to crumble", and that might trace to a Proto-Indo-European root sounding like bas and meaning something similar. Usage of the word psephology in literature over time peaked in the year 1969 and has been decreasing since then.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior 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.