Pronounced: ay-SEH-fuh-lush, adj

Notes: (The initial syllable is a long “a”). This is a word I should have been able to figure out, and I was annoyed with myself for not doing so.

Yesterday’s word

The word assize refers to “a session of court or a verdict or an inquiry made at such a session”

Background / Comments

The word comes from Old French asseoir (to seat), which came from Latin assidere (to sit). As I noted yesterday, in my reading of Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and others), and Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey), I’ve run across the phrase “referred to the Assizes”. Parliament abolished the Assizes in 1972; prior to that (as I understand it), the Assizes were a kind of traveling court in England and Wales that heard the most serious cases, typically referred to them by local county courts called “quarter sessions”. Minor offenses were dealt with by the local justice of the peace (a “magistrate’s court”).

First usage

This goes way back to the late 1200s.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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