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Yesterday's Word



A.Word.A.Day--en banc

Pronunciation RealAudio

en banc (ahn-BAHNK) adjective, adverb

Having all the judges of a court present in a hearing.

[From French, literally, in the bench.]

"She (Lisa Ocheltree) petitioned the full court to reconsider the panel's 2-to-1 decision, and the judges agreed to take her case en banc, which they hardly ever do." Deborah Sontag; The Power of the Fourth; The New York Times; Mar 9, 2003.

"The Seattle School District plans to ask the court for an en banc rehearing of the case by 11 appellate judges." Keith Ervin; Ballard Principal Quits, Warns of Resegregation; The Seattle Times; Apr 26, 2002.

This week's theme: words from the world of law.

NOTE: Nearly 200 of you wrote about the etymology of yesterday's term "voir dire". It's true that in Modern French the word voir means "to see" but in Old French it did mean "true". For example, Guillaume's 14th century work "Le Livre dou Voir Dit" (The Book of the True Poem). -Anu


Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. -Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat and writer (1884-1962)

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