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re: Esquire

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  • J.Bruce Whittaker
    Greetings, I found this regarding the use of Esquire . Enjoy es*quire (noun) [Middle English, from Middle French escuier squire, from Late Latin scutarius,
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 2, 2004
      Greetings,
      I found this regarding the use of "Esquire". Enjoy

      "es*quire (noun)

      [Middle English, from Middle French escuier squire, from Late Latin
      scutarius, from Latin scutum shield; akin to Old Irish sciath shield]

      First appeared 15th Century

      1 : a member of the English gentry ranking below a knight

      2 : a candidate for knighthood serving as shield bearer and attendant
      to a knight

      3 -- used as a title of courtesy usu. placed in its abbreviated form
      after the surname

      4 archaic : a landed proprietor"

      Now you might ask: what allows one to use this title? Is there a
      ceremony? Is it conferred by a university? Is it just some
      affectation that snob-nosed folks use? Can I be Joe Blow, Esq. just
      because I like the ring to it? Or do I need to get authorization, and
      if so from what? from where?

      The answer is that any snob in the world can use the title. In
      fact, "squire" is a contraction of "esquire." I went to Black's Law
      Dictionary and they say (5th Ed., p. 489): "In Eng. law, a title of
      dignity above gentleman and below knight. Also a title of office
      given to sheriffs, serjeants, and and barristers at law, justices of
      the peace, and others. In the U.S., title commonly after the name of
      an attorney; e.g., John J. Jones, Esquire." The entry for Gentleman
      reads: "In its Engl. origin, this term formerly referred to a man of
      noble or gentle birth; one belonging to the landed gentry; a man of
      independent means; all above the rank of Yeomen." (Id. at 618.)
      Knight means: "In Eng. law, the next personal dignity after the
      nobility." (Id. at 783.)

      Now of course in England there's this whole business about hereditary
      nobility and getting knighted and all that, so it might be a little
      risky to start calling yourself esquire there. But we're not in
      England. You can call yourself anything you want here ... although
      you do take the risk that you will be thought a snooty jerk. Since
      this has never bothered lawyers, they have gotten into the habit of
      calling each other esquire. This is a little like elected officials
      addressing each other as "honorable," which to me seems a classic
      case of advertising something after it's gone. But I digress.

      Among lawyers, it's thought pretentious if you signs yourself "Esq."
      in written communications but you are supposed to dignify other
      lawyers with the appellation. So a lawyer's letters go out, "Yours
      very truly, Snidely Whiplash" but the envelope comes back addressed
      to "Snidely Whiplash, Esq." Also, you never put "Ms." or "Mr." in
      front of the name when you use "Esq." Still, this is strictly custom,
      and even if you never saw the inside of a law school there's nothing
      to prevent you from calling yourself esquire ... except the fact that
      you might be thought a lawyer.
    • dancingbobd@webtv.net
      Especially, they might think you are a lawyer! ;-) Bob Dorian [Just plain Bob]
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 2, 2004
        Especially, they might think you are a lawyer! ;-)

        Bob Dorian
        [Just plain Bob]
      • Peter Catley
        ... From: J.Bruce Whittaker [mailto:ortheris@rogers.com] Sent: 02 November 2004 16:17 To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com Subject: [WarOf1812] re: Esquire Greetings,
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 2, 2004
          -----Original Message-----
          From: J.Bruce Whittaker [mailto:ortheris@...]
          Sent: 02 November 2004 16:17
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [WarOf1812] re: Esquire




          Greetings,
          I found this regarding the use of "Esquire". Enjoy

          Now you might ask: what allows one to use this title? Is there a
          ceremony? Is it conferred by a university? Is it just some
          affectation that snob-nosed folks use? Can I be Joe Blow, Esq. just
          because I like the ring to it? Or do I need to get authorization, and
          if so from what? from where?

          Basically if you fancy it you can use it at least in the UK and I guess
          Ireland.

          Now of course in England there's this whole business about hereditary
          nobility and getting knighted and all that, so it might be a little
          risky to start calling yourself esquire there. But we're not in
          England. You can call yourself anything you want here ... although
          you do take the risk that you will be thought a snooty jerk. Since
          this has never bothered lawyers, they have gotten into the habit of
          calling each other esquire. This is a little like elected officials
          addressing each other as "honorable," which to me seems a classic
          case of advertising something after it's gone. But I digress.


          There is no social risk in Britain using the title esquire or esq. it is
          frequently used in written communications of a formal nature and certainly
          there is no formal requirement about it although it could be considered a
          miidle class profressional aspirant snobbish addition :-) Incidently there
          is no quivalent for women.


          So cheers

          Peter Catley esq.


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