1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Second
SECOND (through Fr. from Lat. secundus, following, sequi, to follow), next after the first in order, time rank &c., more particularly the ordinal number corresponding to two. It is the only French ordinal in English; the older word was “other,” Ger. ander Goth. anthar, Skt. antara. The use of the word for the sixtieth part of a minute of time and of degree is from Med. Lat. secunda, abbreviation of minuta secunda, the second small division of the hour, minuta prima or minuta being the first division. Another particular meaning is for one who supports or assists another, especially the friend at a duel, who arranges for his principal the terms of the encounter and sees that all rules of the duel are carried out. In the British army an officer is said to be “seconded” (with the accent on the second syllable) when he is employed on special service outside his regiment, his name being retained on the regimental list, but his place being filled by promotion of other officers. He may rejoin his regiment when his special employment is at an end.