Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Chuck was reminiscing about schools in the good old days, and one of the terms that came up was “truancy officer.” This was the person you had to deal with when you ditched school.

Originally, truant was an abusive term that signified a beggar, a vagabond, a wretch, and an idle knave. By the 15th century, it was applied to a school child who was AWOL. It lead to words such as truantry, truantism, and truandal, all of which have disappeared.

These terms all owe their existence to a Gaelic word that meant a wretch or a vagabond.

SIDEBAR: Truant Officer Donald

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