Sir derives from the Middle French honorific title sire (messire gave rise to mylord), from the Old French sieur (itself a contraction of Seigneur meaning 'lord'), from the Latin adjective senior (elder), which yielded titles of respect in many European languages. The form sir is first documented in English in 1297, as title of honor of a knight or baronet, being a variant of sire, which was already used in English since at least c.1205 as a title placed before a name and denoting knighthood, and to address the (male) Sovereign since c.1225, with additional general senses of "father, male parent" is from c.1250 and "important elderly man" from 1362.
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Famous quotes containing the word origin:
“Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a byroad
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
“High treason, when it is resistance to tyranny here below, has its origin in, and is first committed by, the power that makes and forever re-creates man.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Our theism is the purification of the human mind. Man can paint, or make, or think nothing but man. He believes that the great material elements had their origin from his thought.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)