American voters cast their election ballots in South Dakota in the 2020 presidential election, in South Dakota, on November 3. Photo: AP American voters cast their election ballots in South Dakota in the 2020 presidential election, in South Dakota, on November 3. Photo: AP
American voters cast their election ballots in South Dakota in the 2020 presidential election, in South Dakota, on November 3. Photo: AP
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

‘Polls’ and ‘ballots’ are the talk of the US election, but where do the words come from?

  • ‘Poll’ used to refer to visible part of a head in a crowd, before morphing to mean a person on a list
  • ‘Ballot’ comes from the Venetian for ‘little balls’, in black, white and gold, used to cast a vote

American voters cast their election ballots in South Dakota in the 2020 presidential election, in South Dakota, on November 3. Photo: AP American voters cast their election ballots in South Dakota in the 2020 presidential election, in South Dakota, on November 3. Photo: AP
American voters cast their election ballots in South Dakota in the 2020 presidential election, in South Dakota, on November 3. Photo: AP
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