Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pension


Art asked about the word pension, which in our day is an agreed-upon payment made to a retired employee. At various times since the 14th century, it has meant

·      payment made to retain loyalty – almost a bribe;
·      payment made to an artist or scholar to produce public works;
·      a tax;
·      a payment to an ecclesiastic taken from the revenues of a benefice;
·      payment for board or lodging.

It came from an Anglo-Norman word that meant compensation or annuity. In turn, that was indebted to a Latin word that meant a measured weight. The idea was that whatever was coming to a recipient was carefully weighed or measured.

Some other English words sharing the same Latin ancestor include compensate, depend, expend, impend, and stipend.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.





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