Meanings of Caution

By | February 14, 2021

Even Latin you have to leave to find the etymological origin of the term caution. Specifically, we can see that it comes from the word “caution”, which was used to refer to the person who is careful and prudent. That, in turn, is the result of the sum of the root of the verb “caveo”, which can be translated as “take care”, and the suffix “-la”.

The caution is caution and care in the proceeding. The term can be associated with prudence and moderation. For example: “The animal advanced cautiously to avoid falling”, “Cautiously, the adolescent opened the door of the house trying not to wake up his parents”, “I recommend you drive carefully: the road is wet and slippery”.

Caution is usually a reaction to the detection of a risk. A person who walks carrying a bucket of cold water will not do it in the same way as if he carried a pot of boiling water: if the cold water is spilled, he will not have great problems, on the other hand, if the boiling water is spilled, he can be seriously burned. The most likely, therefore, is that in the second case you will walk more cautiously, paying close attention to avoid tripping.

Nor should we forget the existence of a verbal locution that resorts to the use of the word at hand. In particular, it is about “acquitting someone cautiously.” It is an expression that was used in reference to ecclesiastical trials and with it it was expressed that someone had been acquitted in the course of it due to doubts about whether or not they had fallen into excommunication.

Within the scope of Law, specifically in the field of Civil Law, there is also the term contracautela. This is a word that is used to refer to that guarantee that is required, in a procedural way, from any person who has requested what is a precautionary measure, in relation to what would be the damages or damages resulting from the cited measure.

It must be established that this aforementioned guarantee will not be enforceable in cases where the applicant is, for example, the State. And it is necessary to take into consideration that the meaning of the aforementioned injunction is that within the judicial sphere there is a remarkable balance between the parties.

It is possible to associate caution, on the other hand, with caution to avoid being discovered. Suppose a mother forbids her son to eat some cookies that she keeps in a jar on the cupboard. The child, when the mother leaves the kitchen, decides to take the jar. For that he will approach cautiously, trying not to make noise so as not to attract his mother’s attention.

It can be said, at a general level, that taking action with caution is a protection mechanism, since it seeks to prevent damage (in the case of our examples, the damage would be burning with boiling water or being discovered by the mother).