Posted by: episystechpubs | October 25, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Coroner

Last week, someone inquired about the words coronate and coroner. If the coronation of the king or queen is their “crowning,” why would it be done by the coroner, the man or woman we know as the investigator of “violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths”? Here is what I found as far as definitions and etymologies.

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

· coroner (noun)
late 12c., from Anglo-French curuner, from Latin custos placitorum coronae, originally the title of the officer with the duty of protecting the property of the royal family, from Latin corona, literally "crown" (see crown (n.)). The duties of the office gradually narrowed and by 17c. the chief function was to determine the cause of death in cases not obviously natural.

· crown (verb)late 12c., from Old French coroner, from corone (see crown (n.)). Related: Crowned; crowning. The latter in its sense of "that makes complete" is from 1650s.

· crown (noun)
early 12c., "royal crown," from Anglo-French coroune, Old French corone (13c., Modern French couronne), from Latin corona "crown," originally "wreath, garland," related to Greek korone "anything curved, kind of crown." Old English used corona, directly from Latin.

Extended to coins bearing the imprint of a crown (early 15c.), especially the British silver 5-shilling piece. Also monetary units in Iceland, Sweden (krona), Norway, Denmark (krone), and formerly in German Empire and Austria-Hungary (krone). Meaning "top of the skull" is from c. 1300. Crown-prince is 1791, a translation of German kronprinz.

From Merriam-Webster:

· coronate (verb)
To crown. Latin coronatus, past participle of coronare to crown, from corona
First Known Use: circa 1623

Kara Church

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