"In a bid to avoid becoming an afterthought in the wake of Tom Mulcair's psephological onslaught, Justin Trudeau has thrown down a thick tranche of "transformational" measures to make politics more accountable."
Not surprisingly, this immediately caused a spike in lookups of "psephological" on the Merriam-Webster dictionary site.
"Psephological" (pronounced "seffa LOGICAL" or "seefa LOGICAL") means "concerning voting statistics and trends, or the analysis of these." and is derived from "psephology" ("sif OLLA gee" or "see FOLLA gee"), the prediction of electoral results based on analysis of sample polls, voting patterns, etc.
Where does this weird word come from?
In ancient Greek, a psephos was a pebble, and since pebbles were used in casting ballots, the prefix "psepho-" came to apply to voting. In ancient Greece, a "psephism" was a decree enacted by an elected assembly.
The word "psephology" was coined in 1952.
P.S. If you find the English language fascinating, you might enjoy regular updates about English usage and word origins from Wordlady. Receive every new post delivered right to your inbox! If you are not already subscribed, you can either:
use the subscribe window at the top of this page
(if you are reading this on a mobile device): send me an email with the subject line SUBSCRIBE at email@example.com
Follow me on twitter: @thewordlady