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Posted by Bruce Kahl on September 07, 2005

In Reply to: August body posted by R. Berg on September 06, 2005

: : Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "august body"? Can't find it anywhere except when it is being used. Thanks!

: It's become a cliché in political speaking, like "my fellow Americans" and "the honorable gentleman." Probably impossible to identify its first use.

The word "august" means dignified so an august body is, as stated above, a group of royal or grand people, usually meaning a bunch of politicians.

Maybe is it from the L**in "augur".

An augur, around 200 or so BC in Italy,was a priestlike person, a religious official, who would predict the future by looking at animals, in particular birds.

The position of augur was a very central one, as the Romans rarely did anything important without the consensus of the gods and the go ahead from the ceremony of an augur in the taking of the auspices.