John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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Happy Happy!

Happy birthday to fallwind and that geekboy, graveyardgreg!

Have a newly discovered mammal species! And Today's Forgotten English!

pettifoggery
Tricks, quibbles; the practice of a pettifogger, an inferior attorney.
--Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon, c. 1850


From French petite, small, and Saxon fogere, a wooer, suitor, or solicitor.
--Thomas Blount's Law Dictionary and Glossary, 1717


Feast Eve of St. Ambrose, a third-century attorney who became a patron of orators because a swarm of bees settled harmlessly in his mouth when he was an infant. Many writers -- both early and modern -- have found fault with attorneys, which has led to a host of opprobrious terms, such as ambidexter, one skilled at taking fees from both a plaintiff and a defendant in the same case. Dyche and Pardon's New General English Dictionary (1740) defined a pettifogger as: "That among the lawyers [as] a quack is among the physicians, an ignorant pretender, one that rather increases suits than justly settles people's rights and properties." This was accomplished, the dictionary continued, by pettifogging, "the vile practice of setting people together by the ears and promoting quarrels, by assuring each party of gaining advantage, by going to law upon trifling occasions."

-The Gneech
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