What is the origin of the word ‘pupils’ as used to mean public school students? They may also be called ‘students’, especially in high school, but ‘pupil’ seems to be the preferred official term. At the same time, you never hear of ‘pupils’ in colleges or univerisities, although I have seen on the internet at least one case where the students of a teacher training college, around the turn of the last century, were being referred to as pupils.
So what is the meaning? Did the word originally have anything to do with the pupils of the eyes?