It is perhaps fitting that simply parsing the meaning of the term voir dire is itself not a straightforward endeavor. When translated from modern French, it is said to mean alternatively "to see and to say" or "to see [them] say," both of which seem to characterize, accurately enough, the current legal process in question. However, the term has its actual origin in the Anglo-Norman language, where it means "that which is true." Voir dire was originally a term coined in common law courts to describe the oath taken by jurors when challenged. Now the term is used to more broadly describe the process by which jurors are questioned on their backgrounds and potential biases prior to being selected to sit on the jury.
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