Word of the day: Misericord

A narrow dagger used in medieval times to dispatch a seriously wounded knight.

From a Latin word for mercy. Has a couple of other meanings: a relaxation of monastic rules, and a sort of leaning post in a cathedral. The leaning post one is the only definition given in a 2006 Miriam Webster dictionary; the other two can still be found in my 1982 American Heritage. No, I don’t collect dictionaries. The point is, over time we occasionally lose these nuances of language that offer a window into history.

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5 thoughts on “Word of the day: Misericord

  1. so if i wanted to dispatch a seriously wounded knight who was supported by a leaning post in cathedral with my dagger…..

  2. damn, i wish i could edit comments to make that read smoother, or perhaps i should not hit submit until i am truly ready…

  3. CL – This was in very early editions of clue – Chessloser in the cathedral with the dagger… (Or was it Chessloser with the wallet-chain in the hotel lobby?)

    Egg – Thanks for checking :) That’s gotta be an interesting book.

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