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Vouching for Your Good Name

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If you vouch for something, you guarantee that what you’re saying is true. In the early 14th century, vouch was a transitive verb that meant “to summon into court to prove a title.” Vouch was adapted into English from an Old French word meaning “to call” or “summon.” The root of both words is Latin vocare “to call,” the root also of such words as vocal, vocation, evoke, provoke,and convoke. The word voucher followed a somewhat similar path, originally voucher was a legal term that meant the “calling of a person into court to warrant the title to a property.” In the 17th century, voucher was used to mean “a business receipt,” or in other words, “evidence of a transaction.” This is part of a complete episode.

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