So much going on there. Why is it I post things, like, all the time?! Is it about messaging via beams?

Let’s see…

Etymology 1

From Old English post (“pillar, door-post”) and Latin postis (“a post, a door-post”) through Old French.

So “postis”:


postis m ( genitive postis ); third declension

  1. post, doorpost, doorjamb

Okay, sure. Posts from doorjambs. And that makes sense: without a door, is it really a home? And if not for describing home, why do we name things?

From this use of post we get:


post ( plural posts )

  1. A long dowel or plank protruding from the ground; a fencepost; a lightpost.

ram a post into the ground

  1. (construction) A stud; a two-by-four.
  2. A pole in a battery.
  3. (dentistry) A long, narrow piece inserted into a root canal to provide retention for a crown.
  4. (vocal music, chiefly a cappella) A prolonged final melody note, among moving harmony notes.
  5. (paper, printing) A printing paper size measuring 19.25 inches x 15.5 inches.
  6. (sports) A goalpost.


post ( third-person singular simple present posts , present participle posting , simple past and past participle posted )

Post no bills.

  • To hold up to public blame or reproach; to advertise opprobriously; to denounce by public proclamation.

  • to post someone for cowardice

  • (accounting) To carry (an account) from the journal to the ledger.

  • To inform; to give the news to; to make acquainted with the details of a subject; often with up .

  • (transitive, poker) To pay (a blind).

Since Jim was new to the game, he had to post $4 in order to receive a hand.

But then there is this other use…

Etymology 2

Borrowed from Middle French poste , from Italian posta (“stopping-place for coaches”), feminine of posto (“placed, situated”).


Following that back, we find it goes to positus - Wiktionary


positus ( feminine posita , neuter positum ); first/second-declension participle

  1. placed
  2. ordained

That has some really interesting descendants:


Do you see that?! It went into various Romantic dialects as “posto/posta”, but landed in English as “posit” (think “position”, a place).

So going back to the 2nd meaning:


post ( plural posts )

  1. (obsolete) Each of a series of men stationed at specific places along a postroad, with responsibility for relaying letters and dispatches of the monarch (and later others) along the route. [16th-17th c.]
  2. (dated) A station, or one of a series of stations, established for the refreshment and accommodation of travellers on some recognized route.

a stage or railway post

  1. A military base; the place at which a soldier or a body of troops is stationed; also, the troops at such a station.
  2. (now historical) Someone who travels express along a set route carrying letters and dispatches; a courier. [from 16th c.]
  • An organisation for delivering letters, parcels etc., or the service provided by such an organisation. [from 17th c.]

  • sent via post ; parcel post

  • A single delivery of letters; the letters or deliveries that make up a single batch delivered to one person or one address. [from 17th c.]

  • A message posted in an electronic or Internet forum, or on a blog, etc. [from 20th c.]

  • (American football) A moderate to deep passing route in which a receiver runs 10-20 yards from the line of scrimmage straight down the field, then cuts toward the middle of the field (towards the facing goalposts) at a 45-degree angle.

Two of the receivers ran post patterns.

  • (obsolete) Haste or speed, like that of a messenger or mail carrier.
  • (obsolete) One who has charge of a station, especially a postal station.


post ( third-person singular simple present posts , present participle posting , simple past and past participle posted )

  1. To travel with relays of horses; to travel by post horses, originally as a courier. [from 16th c.]
  • To travel quickly; to hurry. [from 16th c.]
  • (Britain) To send (an item of mail etc.) through the postal service. [from 19th c.]

Mail items posted before 7.00pm within the Central Business District and before 5.00pm outside the Central Business District will be delivered the next working day.

  • (horse-riding) To rise and sink in the saddle, in accordance with the motion of the horse, especially in trotting. [from 19th c.]
  • (Internet) To publish (a message) to a newsgroup, forum, blog, etc. [from 20th c.]

I couldn’t figure it out, so I posted a question on the mailing list.

So, we have posts that are places, specifically strategic places for a messaging system to work, and they become so important to each successive empire we call associated items “posts” as well, such as a “job” or “communications”.

And while that’s all going on, I guess, um, normal folk(?) are just, ya know, attaching messages to these plentiful posts, that are like, everywhere. I mean, technically a tree counts. Outlaws aren’t gonna report themselves, after all! You need a good, high quality post to get your message out there.

And of course it was very quick that some clever person started applying old world postlore with then-modern postal network, and vertically integrated posts at all levels of the operation, from “things to tie horses to” all the way up to “hang body parts upon as royal decree”.

And now we all post, all the time. Lucky us.