Definitions for esquireˈɛs kwaɪər, ɛˈskwaɪər
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word esquire
(Middle Ages) an attendant and shield bearer to a knight; a candidate for knighthood
a title of respect for a member of the English gentry ranking just below a knight; placed after the name
originally, a shield-bearer or armor-bearer, an attendant on a knight; in modern times, a title of dignity next in degree below knight and above gentleman; also, a title of office and courtesy; -- often shortened to squire
to wait on as an esquire or attendant in public; to attend
Origin: [OF. escuyer, escuier, properly, a shield-bearer, F. cuyer shield-bearer, armor-bearer, squire of a knight, esquire, equerry, rider, horseman, LL. scutarius shield-bearer, fr. L. scutum shield, akin to Gr. skin, hide, from a root meaning to cover; prob. akin to E. hide to cover. See Hide to cover, and cf. Equerry, Escutcheon.]
Esquire is a term of West European origin. In the United States, the nominal suffix "Esquire" or "Esq." generally designates individuals licensed to practice law. In the United Kingdom, it is a title of respect previously accorded to men of higher social rank, but which has since come to be used as a general courtesy title for any man in a formal context, usually appended to the name as in "John Smith, Esq.", with no precise significance. Esquire is cognate with the word squire, which originally meant an apprentice or assistant to a knight. The title "Esquire" has been used continuously since it was created in the late 14th century and many uses continue uninterrupted today. For example, in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, "Esquire" is the most junior title. It is also seen in addressing male children too young to be addressed as "Mister"/"Mr.", such as in an invitation to a formal occasion or in legal documents - to emphasize that the intended addressee or referenced individual is a young gentleman.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
originally meant a shield-bearer, and was bestowed upon the two attendants of a knight, who were distinguished by silver spurs, and whose especial duty it was to look after their master's armour; now used widely as a courtesy title.
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