clerk

\ \ [11] Clerk and its relatives cleric and clergy owe their existence ultimately to a Biblical reference, in Deuteronomy xviii 2, to the Levites, members of an Israelite tribe whose men were assistants to the Temple priests: ‘Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance’.
\ \ Greek for ‘inheritance’ is klēros, and so it came about that matters relating to the Christian ministry were denoted in late Greek by the derived adjective klērikós. This passed into ecclesiastical Latin as clēricus, which was originally borrowed into late Old English as cleric or clerc, later reinforced by Old French clerc to give modern English clerk. Its presentday bureaucratic connotations, which emerged in the 16th century, go back to an earlier time when members of the clergy were virtually the only people who could read or write. However, religious associations have of course been preserved in cleric [17], from ecclesiastical Latin clēricus, and clergy [13], a blend of Old French clergie (a derivative of clerc) and clerge (from the ecclestiastical Latin derivative clēricātus). The compound clergyman is 16th century.
\ \ Cf.CLERIC, CLERGY

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • clerk — 1 n 1: an official responsible (as to a court) for correspondence, records, and accounts and having specified powers or authority (as to issue writs) a city clerk clerk of court 2 a: a person employed to keep records or accounts or to perform… …   Law dictionary

  • Clerk — (kl[ e]rk; in Eng. kl[aum]rk; 277), n. [Either OF. clerc, fr. L. clericus a priest, or AS. clerc, cleric, clerk, priest, fr. L. clericus, fr. Gr. klhriko s belonging to the clergy, fr. klh^ros lot, allotment, clergy; cf. Deut. xviii. 2. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clerk — 〈[ kla:k] od. [klœ:rk] m. 6〉 1. Gerichtsschreiber 2. Buchhalter, Handlungsgehilfe, kaufm. Angestellter 3. (niederer) Geistlicher der anglikan. Kirche [engl., „Sekretär, Buchhalter, Kontorist“] * * * Clerk [klark, engl.: klɑ:k ], der; s, s [engl.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • clerk — clerk·ess; clerk·ish; clerk·less; clerk; clerk·ship; clerk·ly; …   English syllables

  • Clerk — ist der englische Begriff für einen Büroangestellten, Schriftführer oder Protokollführer bei Gericht Clerk ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexandre M. Clerk (1861–1932), kanadischer Komponist und Dirigent George Russell Clerk… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • clerk — ► NOUN 1) a person employed in an office or bank to keep records or accounts and to undertake other routine administrative duties. 2) an official in charge of the records of a local council or court. 3) a senior official in Parliament. 4) a lay… …   English terms dictionary

  • clerk|ly — «KLUR klee; British KLAHR klee», adjective, adverb. –adj. 1. of or like a clerk; clerkish. 2. of the clergy. 3. Archaic. scholarly. –adv. in the manner of a clerk. –clerk´li|ness, noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • clerk — klərk n a third or fourth year medical student undergoing clinical training in a clerkship clerk vi …   Medical dictionary

  • Clerk — [klark, engl. klɑ:k] der; s, s <aus engl. clerk »Angestellter«, dies über fr. clerc »Schreiber, Angestellter«, eigtl. »Kleriker«, aus kirchenlat. clericus, vgl. ↑Klerikeru. Klerus>: 1. kaufmännischer Angestellter (in England od. Amerika). 2 …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • clerk — [klʉrk; ] Brit [ klärk] n. [ME < OFr & OE clerc, both < LL(Ec) clericus, a priest < Gr(Ec) klērikos, a cleric < klēros, lot, inheritance (later, from use in LXX, Deut. 18:2, of the Levites, hence the Christian clergy), orig., a shard… …   English World dictionary

  • Clerk [1] — Clerk (engl.), 1) so v. w. Clerc, bes. 2); 2) Küster an einer englischen Universität …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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