The term “code” has its origins in the Latin word “codex,” meaning “book” or “manuscript.” The Latin “codex” itself is derived from “caudex,” meaning “tree trunk” or “block of wood,” which was used metaphorically to refer to a book or collection of laws.

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “keu-” or “keud-” means “to cover” or “to conceal.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “caudex” (later “codex”) developed, meaning “tree trunk,” “block of wood,” or “book.” “Codex” came to mean a collection of statutes, a code of laws, or a manuscript.

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “codex” evolved into Old French “code,” meaning “a system of laws” or “a systematic collection.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “code” was adopted into Middle English as “code,” meaning “a system of laws” or “a systematic collection of rules.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “code” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, expanding in meaning to include a system of principles or rules, a set of instructions for a computer program, or a method of communication using symbols or signals.

The word “code” reflects the concept of a systematic set of principles, rules, or instructions, fundamental to fields such as law, computing, and communication. In computing, “code” specifically refers to the instructions written in a programming language that a computer can execute.