The word candidate is an example of how ancient customs become embedded in language.
In ancient Rome, a person running for an elected office wore a brightly bleached toga. Candidatus means “white-robed.” The word for the clothing became attached to the person.
The Latin noun candidum, meaning “white, pure,” or sincere,” came from a verb meaning “to shine.” Our word candle is related to these words.
The adjective candid shares the same etymology. A candid person is honest, forthright, and free of deception.
A candid photo is one that is not posed.
Candid Camera was a popular television show produced by Allen Funt that began as a radio show, Candid Microphone, in 1947. It was perhaps the earliest “reality show.” Funt and his assistants would set up a hidden camera and play various tricks on passers-by, recording their spontaneous reactions.
The protagonist of Voltaire’s little book of the same name is called Candide because of his innocent, open nature.
George Bernard Shaw’s play Candida features a woman of that name who is motivated by honesty and self-awareness.
Let’s hope that all those candidates who win on Election Day will be candid with their constituents.