Beyond Words - Language Blog

Etymology of Inauguration

The word inauguration can be traced back to the early Roman Republic (510 BC – 27 BC). In the early Roman Republic, all major decisions, such as when to go to war, and who to appoint to positions of power were decided upon by Augurs.

In Rome, an augur was considered to be a divine soothsayer who could interpret the will of the gods by observing the flight patterns of birds. The Latin noun inauguratio was derived from the verb inaugurare (to take omens from birds in flight).