The word student was first introduced into English in the late 1300s (and has since greatly increased in usage) from the Old French word estudiant, which had a definition very similar to today. This replaced the previous word leorningcild (equivalent to "learning-child") rather quickly, perhaps because scholars preferred the perceived erudition of a word from a Romantic language. That traces to the Latin word studiare or studere, which meant "to study" and is also the etymon of our word for "study". Through Proto-Italic, we can derive that from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction stewd, which meant "to push or hit". The connection there is supposedly one of "pressing forward" with your studies. Let's keep pressing forward, fellow hits of etymology!
Adam Aleksic is a 220-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