For many students, today marks the first day of school. To mark the occassion, the Toronto Star found out the ancient Greek origin of the word.
Unlikely as it may seem to those returning to classes, the word “school” originally meant “leisure.”
The highly cultured ancient Greeks loved spending their leisure time (skhole) hanging out with Socrates and Plato discussing philosophy, so their word meaning “leisure” gradually came to apply to such discussions – and then to the place where they happened.
By the time the word got to English via Latin, it was written “scol.” The letter “h” was reintroduced in the Renaissance only because people wanted to show off that they knew the original Latin and Greek spelling.