Etymology and terminology
The word semaphore was coined in 1801 by the French inventor of the semaphore line itself, Claude Chappe. He composed it from the Greek elements σῆμα (sêma, "sign"); and from φορός (phorós, "carrying"), or φορά (phorá, "a carrying") from φέρειν (phérein, "to bear"). Chappe also coined the word tachygraph, meaning "fast writer". However, the French Army preferred to call Chappe's semaphore system the telegraph, meaning "far writer", which was coined by French statesman André François Miot de Mélito. The word semaphoric was first printed in English in 1808: "The newly constructed Semaphoric telegraphs", referring to the destruction of telegraphs in France. The word semaphore was first printed in English in 1816: "The improved Semaphore has been erected on the top of the Admiralty", referring to the installation of a simpler telegraph invented by Sir Home Popham. Semaphore telegraphs are also called "optical telegraphs", "shutter telegraph chains", "Chappe telegraphs" or "Napoleonic semaphore".