Word Origin & History
1590s, "one who observes flights of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from L. avispex, from PIE *awi-spek- "observer of birds," from *awi- "bird" + *spek- "to see." Connection between birds and omens also is in Gk. oionos "bird of prey, bird of omen, omen," and ornis "bird," which also could mean
pl. (and now the usual form) of auspice; 1530s, "observation of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from Fr. auspice (14c.), from L. auspicum "function of an auspex
" (q.v.). Meaning "any indication of the future (especially favorable)" is from 1650s; earlier (1630s) in
extended sense of "benevolent influence of greater power, influence exerted on behalf of someone or something," originally in expression under the auspices of.