January 4th, 2019

cat in dress

Friday word: Shrievalty

Today's word is kindly brought to you by prettygoodword; many thanks!
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shrievalty (SHREE-vuhl-tee) - n., the office, term, or jurisdiction of a sheriff.


In England and Wales, anyway, as in Scotland they use sheriffdom instead. The term is not much used in the United States, despite sheriff being an important office -- specifically, the main local law enforcement outside of incorporated cities is the county's sheriff and their deputies (exceptions: Alaska and Connecticut). The word form looks a little odd unless you know that sheriff is a contraction of shire reeve, and then shrieve more easily reads as an alternate contraction, to which -alty was added on the model of mayoralty.

Sheriff's badge
Thanks, WikiMedia!

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/749110.html