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Re: Sheriff

Posted by ESC on January 06, 2002

In Reply to: Sherriff posted by Brian Silverthorne on January 06, 2002

: Google said that you had the origin of sheriff (the
: law enforcement office here), but I could not find it. Would you please tell me the origin of sheriff.
: Thanx bdsq45@aol.com

SHERIFF - Old English. "A sheriff is etymologically a 'shire-reeve,' that is a 'county official.' The term was compounded in the old English period from 'scir,' ancestor of modern English 'shire,' and 'gerefa,' 'local official, a word based on 'rof' 'assembly' which survives as the historical term 'reeve.' It was used for the 'monarch's representative in a county.'" From the "Dictionary of Word Origins: the Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words" by John Ayto (Arcade Publishing, New York, 1990).