Voir dire describes a set of legal procedures in jury selection, with different meanings in different countries. In the United States, it entails questioning jurors about their biases, but traditionally it's just an oath. Literally translated, this phrase means "speak the truth". Voir, sometimes styled voire, comes from the Old French word voir, meaning "truth", from Latin verus, with the same definition. This, through Proto-Italic weros, derives from Proto-Indo-European weh, which still meant "true". Dire, meanwhile, is from French dire, which means "to say or speak". Not online voir, this traces to Latin, in this case hailing from the word dicere, still with the same meaning. This is from PIE deik, or "to show". Not much semantic change there at all, but nonetheless interesting to etymologize- even to its roots voir dire means "showing truth". Voir dire was first attested in the 1670s and peaked in usage in the 1990s.
Adam Aleksic is a 218-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam is anxiously awaiting his college rejections and loves writing about himself in the third person.
The Etymology Nerd