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Q: The origin of the word "court" ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: The origin of the word "court"
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: ernietheattorney-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 29 Apr 2003 14:51 PDT
Expires: 29 May 2003 14:51 PDT
Question ID: 197178
I was in France visiting Versailles and thinking about the "King's
court" and the French word "couer" which means "heart".  But then I
wondered is there an etymological connection between the idea of a
"court" and the French word for heart.  Is there?

Request for Question Clarification by pinkfreud-ga on 09 May 2003 07:53 PDT
Hi, Ernie.

Thus far, your question remains officially unanswered. If you would
like for me, or leli-ga, to repost our comments as an answer, please
let us know!

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: The origin of the word "court"
From: pinkfreud-ga on 29 Apr 2003 15:14 PDT
Although the words "coeur" and "cour" (French for "court") sound
somewhat similar, they are distinctly different words. "Coeur" has its
origins in the Latin "cor," meaning "heart," while "cour" apparently
comes from the Latin "curia," meaning "court."

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

Early Middle English "curt," "court," after Old French "cort," "curt,"
later "court" (from 15th century "cour.") ...At an early date the
French word appears to have been associated with Latin "curia".

From the Online Eymology Dictionary:

court - 1175, from O.Fr. curt, from L. cortem, acc. of cors (earlier
cohors) "enclosed yard," and by extension (and perhaps by association
with curia "sovereign's assembly"), "those assembled in the yard;
company, cohort," from com- "together" + stem hort-, related to hortus
"garden, plot of ground." The verb meaning "woo, offer homage" (as at
court) is first recorded 1580. Sporting sense is from 1519, originally
of tennis. Legal meaning is from 1292 (early assemblies for justice
were overseen by the sovereign personally); courthouse is from 1483.
Court-martial is first attested 1571; as a verb, 1859. Courtier is
from 1228; courtly "having manners befitting a court" is from 1450.
Courtship "paying court to a woman with intention of marriage" is from

Perhaps another Researcher will be able to find the connection you
Subject: Re: The origin of the word "court"
From: leli-ga on 30 Apr 2003 01:09 PDT
Your question made me wonder if there might be a link between the
words if their origins were traced back to Indo-European roots, but
alas no.

Scholars put court in the same word family as garden and girdle, all
to do with enclosing:

Heart, coeur and Latin cor have a shared history, but not connected
with court:

There's a very technical explanation of the heart/coeur/cor family

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