equerry

\ \ [16] Nowadays in Britain simply royal attendants, equerries’ long and traditional association with the royal stables has led to association of the word equerry with Latin equushorse’, but in fact the two are quite unrelated. Equerry originally meant ‘stable’, and was borrowed from the obsolete French escuirie (now écurie). It is not clear where this came from: some etymologists have linked it with Old High German scūrbarn, shed’, while others have derived it from Old French escuiergroom’ (source of English esquire and squire), according to which view it would mean ‘place where a groom stayed or worked’. (Escuier itself came ultimately from Latin scūtāriusshieldbearer’.) Forms such as escurie remained current in English up until the 18th century, but already by the 17th century equus-influenced spellings had begun to appear.
\ \ The person in charge of such a stable was formerly termed in French escuier d’escuiriesquire of the stable’, and in English groom of the equerry, and there are records from quite early in the 16th century indicating that equerry was being used on its own as the term for such a groom.
\ \ Cf.ESQUIRE, SQUIRE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Equerry — Eq uer*ry (?; 277), n.; pl. {Equerries}. [F. [ e]curie stable, for older escurie, escuirie (confused somewhat with F. [ e]cuyer, OF. escuyer, squire), LL. scuria, OHG. skiura, sc?ra, barn, shed, G. scheuer, from a root meaning to cover, protect,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • equerry — (n.) 1590s, short for groom of the equirrie, from esquiry stables (1550s), from M.Fr. escuerie (Mod.Fr. écurie), perhaps from M.L. scuria stable, from O.H.G. scura barn; or from O.Fr. escuier groom, from V.L. scutarius shield bearer. In either… …   Etymology dictionary

  • equerry — ► NOUN (pl. equerries) 1) an officer of the British royal household who attends members of the royal family. 2) historical an officer of the household of a prince or noble who had charge over the stables. ORIGIN Old French esquierie company of… …   English terms dictionary

  • equerry — [ek′wər ē, ē kwer′ē] n. pl. equerries [altered (after L equus, horse) < Fr écurie < OFr escuerie, status of a squire: see ESQUIRE] 1. Historical an officer in charge of the horses of a royal or noble household 2. an officer who is a… …   English World dictionary

  • Equerry — An equerry (pronEng|ˈɛkwərɪ or IPA|/ɪˈkwɛrɪ/, originated from the French word écurie (stable), and related to the French word écuyer (squire) ) is an officer of honour. Historically, it was a senior attendant with responsibilities for the horses… …   Wikipedia

  • equerry — [16] Nowadays in Britain simply royal attendants, equerries’ long and traditional association with the royal stables has led to association of the word equerry with Latin equus ‘horse’, but in fact the two are quite unrelated. Equerry originally… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • equerry — UK [ˈekwərɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms equerry : singular equerry plural equerries an official who helps a member of the British royal family in performing their duties …   English dictionary

  • equerry — [[t]ɪkwe̱ri, AM e̱kwəri[/t]] equerries N COUNT: oft N to n An equerry is an officer of a royal household or court who acts as a personal assistant to a member of the royal family …   English dictionary

  • equerry — noun (plural ries) Etymology: modification of Middle French ecurie, escuyrie squires (collectively), duties of a squire, care of horses, stable, from escuier squire more at esquire Date: 1591 1. an officer of a prince or noble charged with the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • equerry — /ek weuh ree, i kwer ee/, n., pl. equerries. 1. an officer of a royal or similar household, charged with the care of the horses. 2. an officer of the British royal household who attends the sovereign or other member of the royal family. [1520 30; …   Universalium

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