Pronounced: ARE-guh-see, noun

Notes: I had no idea of the meaning of this word

Yesterday’s word

The word cutpurse means “a thief, especially one who steals from people’s pockets”

Background / Comments

Before clothing had pockets, people carried their money in a pouch (purse) that hung from a girdle (a belt, cord, sash, or the like worn about the waist). A thief would cut off the purse: hence, “cutpurse”. Eventually, pouches were sewn onto one’s clothing and called “pockets”, and the word evolved into “pickpocket”. I seem to recall reading of cutpurses in books set in the pre-pocket days. Incidentally, there is also a word “pickpurse”.

First usage

The word came into usage in the mid 1300s. For comparison, pickpocket showed up in the late 1500s and pickpurse showed up in the late 1300s.

Published by Richard

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

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