While you're assessing something, you may be etymologically assessing too. The word we know as meaning "consider" comes from Old French assesser, from Medieval Latin assessere. Going backwards even further, we see the word become asidduus, which meant "to sit down to"! Cool how that works out; you certainly sit down to think about many things. Eliminate the not-to-obvious prefix ad-, meaning "to" (a word so simple it doesn't deserve an origin, since it basically remained itself throughout history, except for this moment) and we're left with sedere ("to sit"), a root I've already etymologized like ten times (a lot of words derive from it) but might as well trace again; through Proto- sedeo, it originated from Proto-Indo-European sed, also "sit". In other news, asidduus (that Latin word from earlier with the hidden ad-) is also the etymon of assiduity, a pontificating word vaguely meaning "diligence"! I guess you need to be seated to be diligent! Yay!
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd