Etymology of Court

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Maria M


Date added:

February 12, 2016








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This is relevant because after the Norman Conquest, French borrow words began to appear in English, including court. Intriguingly, court has never meant “to be short” in the English language. A third Latin word, cohors gave court a new meaning again. Cohors had meant an enclosed yard for housing poultry...
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Cohors had meant an enclosed yard for housing poultry. By 1300, Englishmen were using court to mean “A clear space enclosed by walls or surrounded by buildings” (Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED) 2000, court). Hence, the English “court” became a polysemic word. Albert C. Baugh places court in the group of “Governmental and Administrative Words” that appeared in the century and a half following 1250, in his book, A History of the English Language...
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