A bright-eyed word of school days. The smell of “pew” and its restricting churchy sound only impart a puerile and disciplinary air suited to it and do not diminish its pull for people – especially its counterpart the master. We see the two rosy cheeks and smile in between of pup, and indeed many a pupil is but a pup. Add an il like a hand raised to ask a question and you are in the right class. But in the other lens we see this word collocating with “dilated” and carrying airs of eyes, clinics, drops and drugs. And yet this is a reflection of the first sense: Latin pupilla is a doll or the little girl who carries it; it gives us both the star student (also from pupulus, the little boy, whilom an orphan ward) and the mirror of her little image in the teacher’s eye (as a doll, pupa – also a chrysalis, like the student).

One response to “pupil

  1. I suspect the “apple” in the phrase “apple of one’s eye” refers to the “pupil”.

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