Forum > General > Where does the word 'essay' originated from?

Posted by Michael Vettori on October 20, 2020


Throughout our life as a student, we all have written essays in class or got them as homework to do on weekends (and we all have hated it from the depths of our hearts). But have you ever wondered exactly where does the word essay come from? The word ‘essay’ has originated from the French term ‘Essai’ which initially means ‘to try’, ‘attempt’, or ‘trial. Essays word popularized around 1580 AD when the significant French Renaissance philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, published a collection of his works entitled as ‘Essais’, which were a compilation of his thoughts and short stories on various subjects. The term then integrated itself in English as ‘Essay’ when one of the followers of Montaigne, Francis Bacon was inspired by his works and published his own collection in the year 1597, entitled ‘Essays’.

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