"openness of mind, impartiality, frankness, freedom from reserve or disguise," c. 1600, from Latin candor "purity, openness," originally "whiteness, brightness, radiance," from candere "to shine, to be white" (from PIE root *kand- "to shine"). It was borrowed earlier in English (c. 1500) in the Latin literal sense of "extreme whiteness."
1972 (in reference to a letter of 1969 by Solzhenitsyn), from Russian glasnost "openness to public scrutiny," literally "publicity, fact of being public," ultimately from Old Church Slavonic glasu "voice," from PIE *gal-so-, from root *gal- "to call, shout." First used in a socio-political sense by Lenin; popularized in English after Mikhail Gorbachev used it prominently in a speech of March 11, 1985, accepting the post of general secretary of the CPSU.
The Soviets, it seems, have rediscovered the value of Lenin's dictum that "glasnost," the Russian word for openness or publicity, is a desirable form of conduct. [New York Times news service article, March 1981]
"state of being concealed; secretive habits, want of openness," 1570s, a variant of secretee, "quality of being secret" (early 15c.), from Middle English secre (adj.), from Old French secré, variant of secret (see secret (adj.)) + -ty (2). The alteration of form is perhaps on the model of primacy, etc. In the same sense secretness is from early 15c.; secreness from late 14c.
late 14c., "singleness of nature, unity, indivisibility; immutability," from Old French simplicite (12c., Modern French simplicité), from Latin simplicitatem (nominative simplicitas) "state of being simple, frankness, openness, artlessness, candor, directness," from simplex (genitive simplicis) "simple" (see simplex).
The sense of "ignorance" is from c. 1400; that of "simplicity of expression, plainness of style" is by early 15c. Middle English also had simplesse, from French, and compare simpleness. The earliest was simplete, "lack of ostentation," c. 1200, from Old French.
c. 1300, "free, liberal, generous;" 1540s, "outspoken," from Old French franc "free (not servile); without hindrance, exempt from; sincere, genuine, open, gracious, generous; worthy, noble, illustrious" (12c.), from Medieval Latin francus "free, at liberty, exempt from service," as a noun, "a freeman, a Frank" (see Frank).
Frank, literally, free; the freedom may be in regard to one's own opinions, which is the same as openness, or in regard to things belonging to others, where the freedom may go so far as to be unpleasant, or it may disregard conventional ideas as to reticence. Hence, while openness is consistent with timidity, frankness implies some degree of boldness. [Century Dictionary]
A generalization of the tribal name; the connection is that Franks, as the conquering class, alone had the status of freemen in a world that knew only free, captive, or slave. For sense connection of "being one of the nation" and "free," compare Latin liber "free," from the same root as German Leute "nation, people" (see liberal (adj.)) and Slavic "free" words (Old Church Slavonic svobodi, Polish swobodny, Serbo-Croatian slobodan) which are cognates of the first element in English sibling "brother, sister" (in Old English used more generally: "relative, kinsman"). For the later sense development, compare ingenuity.
also latchkey, "a key to raise or draw back the latch of a door" and allow one to enter from outside, 1825, from latch (n.) + key (n.1). Latchkey child first recorded 1944, American English, in reference to children coming home from school while both parents are away at work.
Many elementary school principals and teachers have always known the "latchkey" child or the "eight-hour orphan." [New York State Teachers Association, "New York State Education," 1944]
The older or simpler device was a latch-string, which could be pulled in to lock up; having it out was symbolic of openness.