[ Wiktionary : ]  [...]  Latin cottīdiānus, quōtīdiānus ‎(“happening every day”), from adverb cottīdiē, quōtīdiē ‎(“every day, daily”),
from an unattested adjective derived from quot ‎(“how many”) + locative form of diēs ‎(“day”).

[ Etymonline : ]  [...]  from Latin quotidianus "daily," from Latin quotus "how many? which in order or number?" (see quote (v.)) + dies "day" (see diurnal).  [...]

'quot' and 'quotus' appear a wrong, discordant choice of adjective to Compound dies, because they are used to connect or question a quantity with another noun'; but the frequency and quantity in 'every day' is evident: it is 'every'. So an adjective like omnis appears more reasonable.


It's not 'every' day, but 'any' day. Think of it along the lines of 'how soever many days', i.e., all days.

See Cicero's Letters to Atticus 5.7 (or on Perseus) for a distinction between cotidie and in dies singulos. In the translation linked to above, we read:

Daily, or rather more and more every day, I send you shorter letters...


cotidie vel potius in dies singulos breviores litteras ad te mitto...

This is a loose translation, but the distinction seems to be along the lines of:

On whatsoever day [you might pick/name], or, rather, on every single day, I send you shorter letters...

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