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“Self-test”, “concert-test”… But where does the word “test” come from?


Its etymology is linked to a mollusk. Le Figaro takes stock.

"Tell me if you are tested, I will tell you who you are."

The word has been on everyone's lips for almost a year.

We were familiar with

"PCR tests"


"antigen tests"


"serological tests"


We now have







But what does this little word




In our epidemic context, the self-test is similar to the antigen tests we have had until now, except that you do it yourself.

But if we go back to the etymological thread of the word, it designates something else.

As Le Littré underlines, the


, an English word which means


was once said in French



It is borrowed from the Latin


, which means




is a term of natural history.

It designates

"the hard envelope of animals, but particularly that which is mainly limestone"


Among these animals are

"the shell of molluscs, the shell of crustaceans and echinoderms."


From a turtle wrap to an anti-Covid test

Fish is not the only animal linked to our word.

Did you know that the


is also the envelope of turtles and armadillos (placental mammals of tropical America)?

The natives “

used it for several purposes: they painted it in different colors;

they make baskets, boxes and other small, strong and light vessels ”


So how did we go from a

"shell, a woody envelope"


"biological or chemical control"


Originally, the test, as a diagnostic examination, was a kind of


, which was used to

"blow the mine in docimastic tests"


The test is not the prerogative of the health sector.

We also have the


as a test, examination: the

"level tests"


"psychological tests"

, to check the physical and psychological aptitudes of a person;


"product testing"

to check its operation.

Or the test of which evaluates

"any circumstance to test, measure something"

, such as

"the test of goodwill"


Now a flagship measure, with vaccination, to eradicate Covid-19, the


, available for sale in French pharmacies, could well become essential in our daily newspapers.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-04-08

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