Oct 15, 2006

Rapid Rhetoric: JERQUE

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This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

jerque - v. to examine the papers and manifest of a ship, or to physically search the vessel, in order to ascertain if smuggling is occurring. A jerquer is a customs agent who engages in the process of jerquing, and a "jerque note" is issued by the customs officer for the vessel's clearance.

The archaic term "jerque" is of French origin, from the verb chercher ("to search"). Some speculate that the word is related to the Jamaican dish jerk chicken.

3 comments:

Kathleen Marie said...

How is it prounounced? Like Jerk? An interesting word!

historymike said...

Yep, just like jerk!

Suss & The Family Stone said...

C'mon Mike. Don't jerque me around. That's just not gneiss.