NEW-ZEALAND-L ArchivesArchiver > NEW-ZEALAND > 2001-02 > 0982712709
From: "Michael Butler" <>
Subject: Re: [NZ] What does ESQ stand for
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 12:45:09 +1300
Olwyn is correct in her definition of the origin of the word 'Esquire' and
its abbreviation 'Esq.' However, this question cropped up on the
Oxfordshire List a few months ago, and while I didn't save the Email reply
(or if I did, I can't find it!), the gist of the reply was that the term
'Esquire' was in common use until recently (and may continue in some parts
of the English-speaking world - notably in the USA) as a semi-honorific
title for lawyers. They would sign their name as 'J. Bloggs, Esq.,
It has been used as a substitute for plain 'Mr', but in this usage it is
more rarely found. Here it is usually used inappropriately, as a means of
perhaps impressing the recipient. If you are finding regular usage of the
term, particularly several generations ago, then perhaps the person you are
researching was a lawyer?
Hope this helps.
----- Original Message -----
From: "a-e.goodfellow" <>
Sent: Tuesday, 20 February 2001 21:35
Subject: [NZ] What does ESQ stand for
> Can anyone tell me what ESQ, after a persons name means.
> I have been coming across it, after a few of the male relations of our
family, but am stumped as to what it means.
> Any ideas?
> Ethel GOODFELLOW
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