Inquiring minds: What is the origin of the word "caddy"?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here are some of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q.    Why is the guy who carries your golf clubs called a “caddy?” What is the origin of that word?

A.     The game of golf began in Scotland, so it makes sense that the word “caddy” would have Scottish roots. In Scottish dialect, the word was also written as “caddie,” “cawdie,” or “caudie.” It comes from the French word “cadet” and it refers to a boy or young man who was not regularly employed but was on the look-out for casual, temporary jobs as a porter, messenger, errand boy or odd-job man. You might say that a golf caddy is a very specialized type of porter.
(The Oxford English Dictionary.)

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 628-6803 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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