[LMB] OT: Misericorde details

Kirsten E sphinx.graphix at gmail.com
Sat Nov 12 06:29:34 GMT 2016

> From the OED . Sheesh  people. I did know what it was because I got a
> librarian to find it for me 13 years ago at ~3am

 *Origin: *Of multiple origins. Partly a borrowing from French. Partly a
borrowing from Latin. *Etymons:* French *misericorde*; Latin *misericordia*.
*Etymology: *< Anglo-Norman and Old French *misericorde* (1120 in Old
French in sense ‘pity, compassion’, 1170 in sense ‘dagger’; French
*miséricorde* ) and its etymon classical Latin *misericordia* pity,
compassion, in post-classical Latin also dagger (1162; from 1299 in British
sources), shelving projection on a seat in a choir stall (11th cent.; from
*c*1148 in British sources), apartment in a monastery in which certain
relaxations of the rule were permitted (13th cent.; from 1222 in British
sources), special allowance of food (late 11th cent.; from *c*1255 in
British sources), relaxation of monastic rule (*c*1266 in a British source)
< *misericord-* , *misericors* (see misericord adj.
<http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.kcls.org/view/Entry/119538#eid36680145>) + *-ia*
 -ia suffix1
<http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.kcls.org/view/Entry/90676#eid1075289>. Compare
Spanish*misericordia* (1220–50), Italian *misericordia* (late 13th cent.),
Portuguese *misericórdia*(14th cent.).(Show Less)

The knife-relevant entry

*2.* A dagger, originally one with which the *coup de grâce*was given. Now
1324   in R. R. Sharpe *Cal. Coroners Rolls London* (1913) 99 (*MED*),
[He..attacked him with his knife called a] misericorde.
*a*1425   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker *Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab.* (1884)
I. 653/20   *Hic pugis*, myserecord.
*a*1425   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker *Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab.* (1884)
I. 654/16   *Hec cica*, misericord.
1484   Caxton tr. *Ordre of Chyualry* (1926) vi. 81   Mysericorde or knyf
with a crosse is gyuen to a knyght to thende that yf his other armures
faylle hym that he haue recours to the myserycorde or daggar.

1859   *Archæol. Jrnl.* *16* 356   A *misericorde*, or dagger of mercy, dug
up in a field near Deddington.
1869   C. Boutell tr. J. P. Lacombe *Arms & Armour* iii. 49   It was
adjusted at the waist, as was the mediæval *misericorde*, on the right side.
1940   T. H. White *Ill-made Knight* vii. 58   They..drew their
misericordes for
the close work.
2010   C. Clare *Clockwork Angel* Prol. 5   It's a sort of misericord, or
hunting dagger. Look how thin the blade is.

  coup de grâce  n. /ku də ɡras/
 [*lit.* stroke of grace] a blow by which one condemned or mortally wounded
is ‘put out of his misery’ or dispatched quickly; hence *fig.* a finishing
stroke, one that settles or puts an end to something.
1699   S. Garth *Dispensary* iv. 43   Whilst Poor Pretenders trifle o're a
Case, You but appear, and give the *Coup de Grace*.
1745   P. Thomas *True Jrnl. Voy. South-Seas* 326   Not being indulged,
like other Malefactors, with the *Coup de Grace*, the favourable Blow, to
put an End to their Pain.
1820   *Blackwood's Edinb. Mag.* *6* 481/1   Whenever the baker's stomach
fails him, he meets his *coup de grace* in the adulterated drugs of his
friend the apothecary.

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