“Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.” ~ Salman Rushdie
I thought you'd want to know what this day is all about:
- 1763, Amer.Eng., perhaps from caucauasu "counselor" in the Algonquian dialect of Virginia, or the Caucus Club of Boston, a 1760s social & political club whose name possibly derived from Mod.Gr. kaukos "drinking cup." Another candidate is caulker's (meeting). The verb is from 1850.
- 1471, "of the first order," from L. primarius "of the first rank, chief, principal, excellent," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)). Primary color is first recorded 1612; primary school is 1802, from Fr. école primaire.
"The Paris journals ... are full of a plan, brought forward by Fourcroy, for the establishment of primary schools, which is not interesting to an English reader." [London "Times," April 27, 1802]Primary election is recorded from 1792, with ref. to France; in a U.S. context, recorded from 1835; earlier primary caucus (1821).