These 10 legal words or phrases sound like they would mean one thing, but they actually mean another.
Sounds like it would mean: Name of an ’80s big-hair metal band.
As in: Anthrax…Ratt…Dokken…Slayer…Survivor…Tortfeasor.
Really means: The bad guy in a p.i. suit, wrongdoer.
Sounds like it would mean: A body part.
As in: “He’s been having a little problem with his perpetuity gland.”
Really means: Lasting forever. See, i.e., the Rule Against Perpetuities.
Sounds like it would mean: Parsley-like.
As in: “This plateful looks really plain. It needs something garnishee.”
Really means: The guy whose money you’re taking.
4. Craving oyer.
Sounds like it would mean: A hankering for seafood.
As in: “Whenever I go to the beach, I find myself craving oyer, or maybe some crab.”
Really means: Asking the court to do something.
5. Livery of seisin.
Sounds like it would mean: Something to do with spring, summer etc. Or something you’d hear on “Top Chef.”
As in: “Your dish lacks a little livery of seisining.”
Really means: Delivery of possession of property.
6. Jus Tertii.
Sounds like it would mean: Bad-tasting, but healthy, beverage
As in: “After our workout, let’s go to the health food store and get a jus tertii.”
Really means: The right of a third party.
Sounds like it would mean: More demure, having more demureness.
As in: “I found Elizabeth to be demurrer than Colleen.”
Really means: Legal pleading to test the sufficiency of a claim.
Sounds like it would mean: Kind of slimy.
As in: Something to do with eels or snails. Okay, maybe you wouldn’t use it in a sentence …it just sounds slimy
Really means: Charitable.
Sounds like it would mean: The thing that provides the juice to start your vehicle. Or maybe the companion of “assault.”
As in: “My car needs a new barratry.”
Really means: An admiralty term, a fraud committed in breach of the duty to a vessel’s owner.
10. Sua sponte.
Sounds like it would mean: One of those sparkling wines from Italy.
As in: “At their reception, Doug and Denise served wedding cake and asti sua sponte.”
Really means: Action by a judge taken on his or her own motion.
By Paul Fletcher