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Lying in State

Posted by ESC on February 12, 2003

In Reply to: Lying in State posted by R. Berg on February 12, 2003

: : : : My thanks in advance for any information as to the etymology and meaning of the "in state" part of "lying in state".

: : : The Oxford Engl. Dict. has just a little about this:

: : : "'In state': with great pomp and solemnity; with a great train; with splendid or honorific trappings and insignia. 'To lie in state': of a dead body, to be ceremoniously exposed to view before interment."

: : : The OED defines one sense of "state" as "costly and imposing display, such as befits persons of rank and wealth; splendour, magnificence . . . " Apparently "lie in state" is connected with that sense.

: : I saw Col. Sanders "lie in state" in the Kentucky capitol. Just a little bit of history for you.

: Did they surround him with fries and coleslaw?

NO. And he wasn't in a chicken bucket either.