Etymology
Advertisement
suffrage (n.)

late 14c., "intercessory prayers or pleas on behalf of another," from Old French sofrage "plea, intercession" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin suffragium, from Latin suffragium "support, ballot, vote; right of voting; a voting tablet," from suffragari "lend support, vote for someone," conjectured to be a compound of sub "under" (see sub-) + fragor "crash, din, shouts (as of approval)," related to frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break"). On another theory (Watkins, etc.) the second element is frangere itself and the notion is "use a broken piece of tile as a ballot" (compare ostracism).

The meaning "a vote for or against anything" is from 1530s. The meaning "political right to vote" in English is first found in the U.S. Constitution, 1787.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
suffragist (n.)
1822, "advocate of extension of the political franchise in Britain," without regard to gender, or, in the U.S., of voting rights for free blacks; from suffrage + -ist. After c. 1885 especially with reference to voting rights for women.
Related entries & more 
suffragan (n.)
late 14c., "bishop who assists another bishop," especially one with no right of ordinary jurisdiction, from Anglo-French and Old French suffragan (13c.), from Medieval Latin suffraganeus "an assistant," noun use of adjective, "assisting, supporting," applied especially to a bishop, from Latin suffragium "support" (see suffrage). Related: Suffragant.
Related entries & more 
suffragette (n.)

"female supporter of the cause of women's voting rights," 1906, from suffrage, with French fem. ending -ette, but not in the sense in which it was in vogue at the time.

suffragette. A more regrettable formation than others such as leaderette & flannelette, in that it does not even mean a sort of suffrage as they mean a sort of leader & of flannel, & therefore tends to vitiate the popular conception of the termination's meaning. The word itself may now be expected to die, having lost its importance; may its influence on word-making die with it! [Fowler, 1926]

Compare suffragist.

Related entries & more 
*bhreg- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to break."

It forms all or part of: anfractuous; Brabant; bracken; brake (n.1) "stopping device for a wheel;" brake (n.2) "kind of fern;" brash; breach; break; breccia; breeches; brioche; chamfer; defray; diffraction; fractal; fraction; fractious; fracture; fragile; fragility; fragment; frail; frangible; infraction; infringe; irrefragable; irrefrangible; naufragous; ossifrage; refract; refraction; refrain (n.); refrangible; sassafras; saxifrage; suffragan; suffrage.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit (giri)-bhraj "breaking-forth (out of the mountains);" Latin frangere "to break (something) in pieces, shatter, fracture;" Lithuanian braškėti "crash, crack;" Old Irish braigim "break wind;" Gothic brikan, Old English brecan "to break."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
*upo 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "under," also "up from under," hence "over."

It forms all or part of: above; assume; Aufklarung; eave; eavesdropper; hyphen; hypo-; hypochondria; hypocrisy; hypotenuse; hypothalamus; hypothesis; hypsi-; hypso-; opal; open; oft; often; resuscitate; somber; souffle; source; soutane; souvenir; sub-; subject; sublime; subpoena; substance; subterfuge; subtle; suburb; succeed; succinct; succor; succubus; succumb; sudden; suffer; sufficient; suffix; suffrage; suggestion; summon; supine; supple; supply; support; suppose; surge; suspect; suspend; sustain; up; up-; Upanishad; uproar; valet; varlet; vassal.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit upa "near, under, up to, on," Greek hypo "under," Latin sub "under, below," Gothic iup, Old Norse, Old English upp "up, upward," Hittite up-zi "rises."

Related entries & more 
Chartism (n.)

1839 in English political history, in reference to the reform party active 1836-48, from "The People's Charter," which contained their principles (universal suffrage, abolition of the property qualification for serving in Parliament, equal representation, etc.). Related: Chartist (1838).

Related entries & more