The first recorded usage of the word suspicion in the English language was in a 1290 religious manuscript, when it was spelled suspecioun. Many other forms showed up later throughout history, including suspition, suspecyon, susspecion, and more. Suspecion was particularly popular for a while, which reflects the word's eventual origins in Old French sospeçon. The i was reinserted due to influence from the etymon of suspeçon, Latin suspicere, which had about the same definition as today but could also carry secondary meanings of "believe" or "suppose". The roots of suspicere are the prefix sub-, meaning "up to", and specere, "to look at", the notion being that someone who's suspicious of someone else will look up at them secretly to keep an eye on them. Sub- traces to Proto-Indo-European upo, meaning "below", and specere derives from PIE spek, "to see".
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.