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[–] MinorLeakage 0 points 15 points (+15|-0) ago 

I was curious what the technical definition of "disparage" was, in the context of laws and such. I came across this little gem from Mirriam-Webster:

In Middle English, to disparage someone meant causing that person to marry someone of inferior rank. Disparage derives from the Anglo-French word desparager, meaning "to marry below one's class." Desparager, in turn, combines the negative prefix des- with parage ("equality" or "lineage"), which itself comes from per, meaning "peer." The original "marriage" sense of disparage is now obsolete, but a closely-related sense ("to lower in rank or reputation") survives in modern English. By the 16th century, English speakers (including Shakespeare) were also using disparage to mean simply "to belittle."

Thought you might find it interesting as well. I think you could technically make the argument that if you aren't of peerage to begin with, it's highly unlikely you can even BE disparaged. Akin to how the Greeks believed a tragedy could only be about a God/King. A regular person getting ruined just isn't that tragic, since they didn't have very far to fall in the first place.

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[–] TheTrigger 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Well, I meant it more along the lines of,

to lower in rank or reputation

a.k.a: destroy their credibility. But that is neat, either way; looking up the etymology of words is a casual interest of mine.

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[–] MinorLeakage 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

I love etymology. I think words carry an amazing amount of history in them. Everything from meanings to pronunciations, etc, carries thousands of years of history in them, and of the far more honest variety than some scholar's opinion or hearsay of the time period.

Always a pleasure to meet a fellow logophile.

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[–] tadorno 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Linguistics is dope.

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[–] BlueDrache 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I thought the dope was for the lunguistics.

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[–] A_M_Swallow 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

As well as nobility there were freemen, serfs and slaves. Marry the wrong person and you could find your children were the property of someone else.