Old English husting "meeting, court, tribunal," from Old Norse husðing "council," from hus "house" (see house (n.)) + ðing "assembly" (see thing); so called because it was a meeting of the men who formed the "household" of a nobleman or king. The native Anglo-Saxon word for this was folc-gemot. The plural became the usual form c. 1500; sense of "temporary platform for political speeches" developed by 1719, apparently from London's Court of Hustings, presided over by the Lord Mayor, which was held on a platform in the Guildhall. This sense then broadened by mid-19c. to "the election process generally."
updated on September 12, 2015