Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby tcward » Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:10 pm

I like the straightforward way this word came to be -- signing on the back of a document to indicate your approval.

It's also kind of neat that it moved from Old French into Old English into Middle Latin.

1381, from O.Fr. endosser, lit. "to put on back," from en- "put on" + dos "back," from L. dossum, var. of dorsum. Sense of "confirm, approve" (by signing on the back) is first recorded in Eng. 1847. Assimilated in form to M.L. indorsare.

Naturally, dossum reminded me of 'dossier'.

1880, from Fr. dossier "bundle of papers," from dos "back," supposedly because the bundle bore a label on the back, from L. dossum, var. of dorsum "back." Or possibly from resemblance of the bulge in a mass of bundled papers to the curve of a back.

Ironic that one's dossier could have such a profound influence on one's endorsements...

-Tim ;)

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Postby gailr » Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:54 pm

Don't forget the straight-forward commercialism of top athletes signing lucrative deals to endorse sports wear.


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