A murder weapon = mercy?

Once again, my time spent watching Bones is justified.

From one episode of Bones (I don’t recall the episode or even the season) I learned that a misericord (or misericorde) is a short, narrow dagger-like weapon. In the show, it’s a murder weapon.

Then last night, I learn (while reading Saint Julian by Walter Wangerin Jr.) that misericordia means mercy in Latin. [Why oh why didn’t I learn Latin when I had the chance?]

So this morning, I had to look this up. I learned this word misericord can also mean a support for someone who’s standing and a special monastic apartment for a monk who has been granted a relaxation of the monastic rules (as well as that relaxation of the rules), in addition to the weapon. All these rely precisely on the word’s Latin origin — they’re all, apparently, ways of showing mercy.

The weapon? Used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke to a seriously wounded knight.

The bracket? On the underside of a hinged seat in a choir stall against which a standing person could lean during long services.

Interesting, very interesting.

ETA: Nicole posted about Bones today, too! She posted a trailer for the new season, which starts September 23.


11 responses to “A murder weapon = mercy?

  1. Who knew you could learn new words from TV too? I love learning new words!

    • I know, right? This isn’t the first word I learned from Bones. I’ve highlighted others in my regular words posts when I later ran across the words in books. 🙂

  2. Oh, NOW I get it!! There is a college in my state called Misericordia, and I always thought it was a terrible name, sounding too much like “miserable.” But now it all makes sense! Thanks =) LOL!

  3. Now I am wracking my brain trying to figure out the episode that was in.

  4. I love when I can learn really random things from other people’s blogs. Thanks for this!!

  5. I love it when you learn hings from the shows we watch and the books we read – and when you can combine that knowledge – so cool!

    Would you believe I have never watched Bones? 😯

  6. I love Bones! I remember this murder weapon, but not the name. Good for you 🙂

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