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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    bar- etymology

    'Bar' can mean a lawyer's position and 'bar test' means a test to become lawyers.
    Does this 'bar' have its origin in the 'bars' of prison as in the expression "He was behind bars(imprisoned) for 3 years"?
    Last edited by keannu; 24-Feb-2012 at 08:40.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: bar- etymology

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    'Bar' can mean a lawyer's position and 'bar test' means a test to become lawyers.
    Does this 'bar' have its origin in the 'bars' of prison as in the expression "He was behind bars(imprisoned) for 3 years"?
    I doubt it very much. The 'bar' is a physical thing in the court (although in more modern court-rooms it's probably defunct): the 'prisoner at the bar' is the accused.

    b

    PS The full story's here: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?...wed_in_frame=0
    Last edited by BobK; 24-Feb-2012 at 12:35. Reason: Added PS

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: bar- etymology

    ...and 'behind bars' is an idiom that needn't involve bars at all; it just means 'incarcerated' (Spanish readers will recognize the word cárcel.)

    b

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    #4

    Re: bar- etymology

    I was told by a barrister that a court has its name because the judge symbolizes the monarch and was acting for them and there was a barrier between the judge and the rest and only certain people could be called to the bar (the barrier) to communicate directly with the judge- a barrister, who has been called to the bar, is allowed to have an audience in any court, unlike solicitors who could only be heard in certain courts. It's not the same as the bars of a prison, but it was a bar nevertheless.

  4. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: bar- etymology

    I don't know how to thank you enough!!! I realized it's something like a bar in a cab in UK when I took it and I had to communicate with the cab-driver through the barrier. Now I realize what bar comes from. Thanks a zillion!!!

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