Extreme vetting, or the detailed investigation into a person’s background, has been in the news of late as the term of art used by Donald Trump to describe what needs to happen to refugees seeking to enter the United States. Putting aside the fact that existing investigatory measures are already quite thorough and that Trump does not provide details on how he will change the process to make it extreme—this is a language blog, not an immigration one—the question arises where does the verb to vet come from?

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