What Does Esquire Mean?

April 22, 2011 at 2:00 am 3 comments

By Chad Upton | Editor

It’s a magazine. It’s a watch brand. It’s a title or a suffix that may follow a person’s name.

Throughout time, the precise meaning of the title has fluctuated.

In medieval times, an Esquire (or “Squire”) was the rank below Knight, generally a Knight in training. Later, it symbolized a noble man, usually born with wealth and power.

Today, Esquire has a different meaning. Although it’s not particularly common, when it is seen, it is usually follows a person’s name (ex Johnnie Cochran, Esq).

In that case, it identifies him as a laywer — more specifically a barrister (although this distinction is not generally made in some countries such as the US). It may also designate judges or other town officials.

In England, it may be used to describe any man, but it also has more formal uses. For example, when British men are invited to Buckingham palace, their mailing address will include the Esquire suffix, while foreign men will be addressed as “Mr.”

It is bad form for one to identify themselves with the Esquire title, it should only be used in reference to someone else. Also, it supercedes all other titles. In other words, if “Esq” follows a name, “Mr” should not precede it.

Broken Secrets

Get secrets on: Facebook | Twitter | Email | Kindle

Sources: Random House, Princeton.edu, Wikipedia (Esquire), Esquire.com

Photo: Andrew Becraft (cc)

Entry filed under: Demystified, History and Origins. Tags: , , , , .

Motel 6 Charged $6.00 for Motel Rooms McDonald’s Imports One Third of Mexican Sesame Seeds

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kyle  |  April 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Chad, are you saying that Bill S. Preston, Esquire had bad form? I simply won’t believe it. Wyld Stallyns!

    Reply
  • 2. Jen  |  April 22, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I always thought esquire was also used in place of IV after names (i.e. Sr., Jr., III, IV), but I can’t find anything to support this online. I heard this definition in childhood (I have no idea from where) and it seemed to make sense, as esquire sounds like it could have derived from the word “square” or its origins.

    Reply
  • 3. Carolyn Ledford  |  June 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I always thought esquire was also used in place of III after names (i.e. Sr., Jr., III or Esquire, IV), but I can’t find anything to support this online. I heard this definition in childhood (I have no idea from where) and it seemed to make sense.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow Broken Secrets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,753 other followers

Big Awards


Best Personal Blog/Website (People's Voice)


W3 Award - Copy Writing

Read Secrets on Your Kindle

Categories

Play Hashi Link

Featured by…

• Yahoo
• Business Insider
• NPR
• BBC
• Smithsonian Magazine
• USA Today
• AskMen (and many more...)

Contact Info


%d bloggers like this: