clerkish

[ klurk; British klahrk ]SEE DEFINITION OF clerkish
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CLERKISH

"A good day to ye, Mistress Cranstoun," said Maisie boldly, and most like a clerkish student.

WORD ORIGIN

"man ordained in the ministry," c.1200, from Old English cleric and Old French clerc "clergyman, priest; scholar, student," both from Church Latin clericus "a priest," noun use of adjective meaning "priestly, belonging to the clerus" (see cleric).

Modern bureaucratic usage is a reminder of the dark ages when clergy alone could read and write and were employed for that skill by secular authorities. In late Old English the word can mean "king's scribe; keeper of accounts;" by c.1200 clerk took on a secondary sense in Middle English (as the cognate word did in Old French) of "anyone who can read or write." This led to the sense "assistant in a business" (c.1500), originally a keeper of accounts, later, especially in American English, "a retail salesman" (1790). Related: Clerkship.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR CLERKISH

clerical

adjectivesecretarial
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.